John Deere Turf Care designed a system to capture and reuse storm water for its engineering test plots.
To reduce their environmental footprint, employees at John Deere Turf Care in Fuquay-Varina, NC, searched for a sustainable source of water for its irrigation system.
The grounds surrounding the facility feature engineering test plots — grassy areas with various topographies to measure mower and golf course equipment performance.
Maintaining more than 10 acres of grass requires plenty of water — as much as 12.5 million gallons in a year — beyond that provided by rainfall. The additional demand reduced the city's store of potable water.
Deere's solution captures storm water run-off to meet its irrigation needs without purchasing water from the city or extracting groundwater.
Deere added nearly 1 million gallons to the capacity of its storm water retention pond, from approximately 150,000 gallons to 1.1 million gallons. Even after increasing its irrigated acreage from 3.5 to 10.2, the facility's needs are met entirely through the retention pond. Weekly water use is just over 310,000 gallons, implying a three-week supply, even if there was zero rainfall to replenish the retention pond. (The area has average monthly rainfall of 4.5 inches, which translates to 85% of the pond's capacity.)
The new source for water had the ancillary benefit of allowing the company to remove a diesel-powered irrigation pump, considered an environmental risk, that had abutted nearby wetlands.
The project demonstrated that Turf Care was willing to go above and beyond regulatory requirements to be good stewards of the environment, earning Turf Care "Steward Status" from the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources and making it just one of just 16 facilities in the state to receive the honor.