The ponds, streams and waterfalls at Reid Park are flowing more efficiently now with new pumps supported by rebates through Tucson Electric Power.

The City of Tucson received a $20,000 rebate check after installing upgraded irrigation booster pumps, which are allowing the park to save on both electricity and water.

The pumps pull water from the park’s Barnum Hill lakes and send it to sprinklers throughout the 131-acre park, parts of the zoo and Hi Corbett Field baseball stadium. The new pumps also filter the water and streams that are so beloved by generations of families in Tucson.

“That booster pump system is the heart line for Reid Park,” said Dominic Rullo, Irrigation Supervisor for the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. “It’s all about enhancing the quality of life for our community.”

The city plans to recycle that rebate, investing the money into new pumps at other parks, with the intention of qualifying for additional rebates. Anza and Kennedy parks are next up to receive new pumps.

The rebate is part of TEP’s Commercial Energy Solutions program, which allows government agencies, businesses, schools and nonprofit organizations to apply for savings on energy-efficient products and upgrades. Those include variable speed drives, which were added as part of the system at Reid Park.

“When older motors and equipment are replaced, the trend and the future is energy efficiency,” said Martin Lopez, TEP Key Account Manager, who worked with the city to apply for the rebates.

The $380,000 pump project was installed in March 2021. TEP issued the rebate check earlier this year.

While it’s too early to calculate water and energy savings, Rullo said the system makes it more efficient because the city can control the speed and timing of the pumps. Older pumps were either on full power or off, with no remote control options.

In addition to pumping more proficiently, new filters also are helping clear debris in the main line, which sometimes clogged up sprinklers.

“I believe it’s an excellent model of a utility company and a government agency working together,” Rullo said. “I’m super excited to keep doing what we’re doing because this is impacting generations to come.”

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