In August of 2016, the St. Luke Garden was updated with an automated watering system. There are two zones: one for the nine raised garden beds and one for the perimeter plantings. Since power is not available in the garden, a battery powered timer was installed. As the in ground perimeter plantings are developed in the garden, the drip system can easily be added on to accommodate these areas.
$5,000 was given to the garden for this improvement from the St. Luke Parents Club. 50% of the cost of this upgrade consisted of a required back-flow assembly per the State of Washington Health Code and a pressure reducing valve for our water connection.
The new timer system for the garden will allow watering multiple times each day per each zone over the summer. This is especially important in the summer months when watering is needed early in the day and again in the afternoon. By having a sprinkler system, we are no longer totally dependent on watering to be done by volunteers, although volunteers will still be involved weekly to assure that watering is sufficient in the garden.
The system lines are blown out before winter to assure that lines don't freeze, and the water is turned off. In the spring, the water is turned on and the system is implemented as the weather warms up and as needed.
Lastly, the previous connection site for water had a poor connection which pooled and flooded each time we watered. With the new system, we no longer are wasting the additional water at the connection site and we are assured that our watering system is reaching only the areas in need of water.