McDougall Centre Irrigation Audit,  Calgary,  Alberta


Alberta Infrastructure

Fall 2013


  • Medium Turf Rotors
  • Spray Heads
  • Flooding Tree Wells/Bubblers
  • PVC Main Line Network
  • Irrigation Water Service in an Underground Mechanical Chamber
  • Hunter Battery Operated Timers
  • RainBird ESP-MC-24 AC Controller

Completed in 1908, McDougall Centre was originally the Calgary Normal School and later became a public school. Constructed in the Beaux-Arts style, McDougall Centre became a historic site in 1982. Today, it is the southern headquarters and conference centre for the Government of Alberta located in downtown Calgary. The irrigation system of the centre was constructed in 1983, however, the system on the East side was replaced around 2005. The irrigation water service is in an underground chamber, and the irrigation controller is in a utility room on the West side of the building. There are multiple battery operated controllers in the field. LIS was hired by Alberta Infrastructure to audit the existing irrigation system and to provide short and long term recommendations.

The initial irrigation system install as well as the subsequent upgrade failed to provide as-built records noting any construction modifications of the installed system. Most of the system components are reaching the end of their functional life cycle. The water service is located in an underground chamber that requires confined space training and therefore cannot be assessed easily.
LIS compiled all available information provided by the Client. Information included initial design drawings of the whole site, design drawings of the renovated East side, and “living documents” prepared over the years by the service companies. A detailed field review of each zone documenting operating pressure, sprinkler types, nozzles, visual leaks, etc. was conducted over two days. Controller inspection, Raster test on wires, and an irrigation test program helped assess the automatic control aspect of the system.
Recommendations included immediate, short term, and long term action plans.