Saturday, May 23, 2015

Home News Ideas for conserving water with style

Ideas for conserving water with style

Industry News

Even areas of the country with large precipitation rates can use methods to conserve water and prevent storm-water runoff.


Photo: VAST Enterprises

Talking about residential landscape water conservation is, as Green View Companies Division Manager David Pence says, “a hard sell. We’ve had three years of almost double the normal annual precipitation rate in central Illinois.

“But, with the increase in urban development and roads, more of that water is making its way into storm drains, which flow into tributaries,” Pence said. “And, then it’s a race down to the Mississippi River and into the Gulf of Mexico — not recharging our underground reservoir.”

Pence recommends several approaches that combine beauty and function to conserve water.

Install systems to capture and hold rain water. It’s called “rain harvesting,” Pence says, and although it’s been slow to catch on in central Illinois, these methods are growing in popularity in many other areas. The simplest approach is the traditional rain barrel. The latest method is similar to a large waterbed. Called a rainwater pillow by one manufacturer, it holds 700 to 200,000 gallons, fits under a deck or walkout and can be fitted with a pump to direct water anywhere you want to provide irrigation. 

This is a closed system, Pence adds, so mosquito growth is not an issue, noting that another advantage to using rainwater for irrigation, for a gray-water toilet, or any other non-potable water use is the lack of salts found in tap water.

For more information on the variety of water collection systems available commercially, as well as instructions on build-it-yourself options, search “rain harvest” or “rain water harvesting” on the Internet.

Build berms, bog gardens or ornamental fish ponds to collect runoff.
Use scraps of pond liner rather than fully lining gardens so excess water can slowly seep into the ground instead of running into the storm sewer.

Use permeable pavers, porous concrete or porous asphalt that will allow water to seep into the ground
rather than run off down the driveway or sidewalk. This type of hardscape can be installed to direct excess water into a retention area for use later.

Just five years ago, the Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics published a study of landscapes, water use and upkeep costs written by Brian Hurd. At that time, according to the study, converting a 50-foot by 100-foot turfgrass lawn in the Western United States to shrubs, flowers, gardens and drought-tolerant trees would reduce annual water consumption from 100,000 gallons per year to 35,000 gallons; water costs from $300 to $100; maintenance costs from $1,200 to $200; and maintenance time from 300 hours to 50. Incremental changes produced impressive results as well.

To read the entire story, click here.
 

Top news

Private equity firm acquires Signature Landscape Services

A former ValleyCrest executive stakes his claim in the northwest and looks to build a West Coast company.

A conversation with the Top 100

Leaders from the Top 100 discuss the biggest challenges facing their companies and how they’re solving them. Turns out, their solutions work for landscapers of any size.

In hindsight

We asked some Top 100 company leaders about decisions they’d want to do over, and some choices they made that they wouldn’t change.

Let results do the marketing

The best way to market your company is to do high-quality work.

Ornamental invaders

Exotic pests are on the rise. Make sure you're handling them properly.

x