Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Fall 2013 - (Page 33)

REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE HOW ONE NURSERY IS TAKING INTEGRATED WATER MANAGEMENT INTO THEIR OWN HANDS BY: BRENDA LUCKHARDT W ater is the life blood of any nursery operation and supplemental irrigation from ground and surface sources is a requirement. In 2008, Sheridan Nurseries began the construction of our award-winning, state-of-art large capacity integrated water recycling system— the first of its kind in North America and revolutionary in the nursery industry. Through the Canada–Ontario Environmental Farm Plan, Sheridan Nurseries identified ways such as drip and spray stick irrigation and the utilization of coir discs to reduce water consumption by 80 percent. Even with these water conservation methods in place, we began the project to provide a self-sufficient backup water source for irrigation in case of serious drought conditions. At the time of construction this system was expected to reduce the draw from our local water source, the Credit River, by 10 to 15 percent. Actual results turned out to be as high as 29 percent. In 2012 we recycled 136 million liters of irrigation water. This system also has the ability to sustain our nursery’s irrigation demand for 21 days during a drought. The large capacity integrated water recycling system is comprised of five components covering 2.6 hectares which are fed by a controlled drainage system. The drainage network drains 162 hectares of production beds. The first component is the forebay which collects irrigation and rainfall runoff and allows for sedimentation to occur before the water flows through to a one hectare manmade bioswale. This wetland acts as a biofilter to reduce the sediment and nutrient levels in the water so that the “THISINVESTMENTINANINTEGRATEDWATERRECYCLING SYSTEMPROVIDEDSUSTAINABILITYNOTONLYFORTHE NURSERYBUTFORTHENEIGHBOURINGWATERSHEDASWELL.” ABOVE: SHERIDAN NURSERIES’ LARGE CAPACITY INTEGRATED WATER RECYCLING SYSTEM Image provided by: Sheridan Nurseries water can be reused for irrigation. In addition, the wetland is an incredible natural wildlife habitat. The purified water from the wetland is collected in a wet cell holding area to be pumped up to the main pond, which has a 117 million liter capacity, for storage and reuse. The fifth and final component of the system is the pump house, which contains two automated 60 horsepower turbines with intakes near the bottom of the pond. Each can pump 2300 US gallons of water per minute which gives us the capacity to draw 6 million liters a day. Recent upgrades to the system include remote irrigation control and monitoring through smartphone or computer to improve watering efficiencies and prevent over or under watering. These have been installed both at the pond pump house and the river pump station. Sheridan Nurseries monitors all aspects of the nursery’s irrigation requirements and large capacity integrated water recycling system. Wetland recovery rates and irrigation demands will vary from season to season depending on READ THIS ISSUE ONLINE AT WWW.LIVINGARCHITECTUREMONITOR.COM precipitation and nursery inventory. All input sources are metered and irrigation cycles are monitored and adjusted to the weather conditions. Total wetland recovery has been tracked for the past 3 years the system has been operating. Over 450 million liters of water has been recovered in the past three years. In the summer of 2012 the key benefit of the large water holding capacity came into play after a prolonged period with no rainfall. The main pond which can sustain the nursery for 21 days was the only source for irrigation. The drought period lasted 19 days until significant rainfall arrived to replenish the system. This investment in an integrated water recycling system provided sustainability not only for the nursery but for the neighbouring watershed as well. Brenda Luckhardt is the business to business marketing and development manager at Sheridan Nurseries. FIND OUT MORE Green Roofs for Healthy Cities is launching its fourth Integrated Water Management course at CitiesAlive in San Francisco this October. www.citiesalive.org LIVING ARCHITECTURE MONITOR / FALL 2013 / 33 http://www.citiesalive.org http://WWW.LIVINGARCHITECTUREMONITOR.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Fall 2013

Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Fall 2013
Inside
From the Founder
Bookshelf – Eat Up: The Inside Scoop on Rooftop Agriculture
Green Roofs Boost Efficiency of Solar Panels
Grey to Green a Great Success
New & Upcoming GRHC Courses
On the Roof With… Industry Leaders
West Coast Green Innovation
Industry Research Collection
The Green Façade Inquiry
Creative Stormwater Landscaping
Leadership – Green Roof Leadership
Plant – Selecting Plants for Living Walls
Conference Agenda — CitiesAlive in San Francisco
Project – Green Walls for Greener Cities
Project – Living Architecture That Feeds
Project – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
New Corporate Members
GRHC Buyers Guide
Hey EPA

Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Fall 2013

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