Reliable Asphalt Corporation, Reliable Materials Lyons LLC and Bluff City Materials are a conglomerate of companies and site locations that produce aggregate products for development needs. These material processing companies operate at different locations and are open to receive soils, rock, asphalt shingles and concrete. These displaced resources are then processed through conveyor and crushing equipment to produce recycled materials for reuse.
Receiving, processing and distributing these materials cause an ongoing dust control issue. Local and State EPA affiliations monitor and penalize those companies who do not manage problems that result from excessive dust emissions on and off their sites.
Many operations attempt to resolve dust issues by flooding roadway areas with open water hoses, using water and sweeper trucks to keep the dust down and roadways clean. Dust control by these means is costly by way of equipment purchase, rental, and maintenance. Labor cost for man power adds to the operation cost.
Naturescape Irrigation Inc. was invited to help develop a solution to this problem through our core business of irrigation. Our goal was to create above ground irrigation that is automated, adaptable to the environment, and flexible to make changes within each site layout to successfully manage dust control.
We implemented this vision with irrigation zones that wet down roadways and water distribution lines running to spray bars that wash aggregate materials at conveyors and crushing equipment. Water is also supplied to truck wheel washing equipment in order to clean the departing trucks that travel local streets and highways. Our system that executes this includes custom pump stations, level and manual controls, as well as programmable control clocks. Water sources that are utilized on these sites are from wells, reclaimed river water, and rain harvesting, with potable water used as a last source.
Presently, Naturescape Irrigation has four sites effectively operating and controlling the conglomerate’s dust issues. With minimal maintenance and regular monitoring our approach has provided a solution to our customer’s needs, saved on overhead costs, kept them from paying expensive fines, deterred any site shut-downs, all while helping to protect the environment.
Royal Ridge Homeowners Association consists of 151 Luxury home sites in Northbrook, IL. The property sits on 50 acres of beautifully landscaped green spaces which also includes ponds and canals. All turf areas are irrigated as well as front entry flower plantings. The irrigation system consists of 60 watering zones controlled by two irrigation controllers. The water for the irrigation system is supplied by using a 20 horse power pump station that draws water from one of the ponds with a dedicated well to replenish this pond as needed.
The watering schedule that was in place was not appropriate for irrigating the heavy clay soils on the property as we observed excessive runoff and a large area of swampy soils. Our initial site visit also revealed very large watering zones each of which spanned a variety of “microclimates” with different watering requirements. The watering demand on one zone may have included both extremely sunny portions along with areas of dense shade making it impossible to balance the water coverage.
We used a two-step process to address the system. First, we changed sprinkler nozzles in areas of mismatched microclimates. This greatly reduced the amount of water that was being applied to the densely shaded areas while not starving the sunny areas. Next we revamped the watering schedule.
Using a cycle and soak technique, a clock schedule was developed that would deliver an equivalent of 1.25” of rainfall per week. Due to the size of the system this was accomplished by cycling each watering zone only twice a week but activating each zone three times during the night to avoid runoff and provide maximum benefit to the plant. This technique uses much shorter run times to keep the water where it is intended and needed. Allowing the soils time to dry out between watering days also promotes healthy root growth.
By implementing the new watering schedule and the turf management program delivered by Mariani Landscape, the results are visually obvious in the overall health of the turf. When drier conditions present themselves very little adjustment is needed because the turf is much healthier than irrigated lawns that are overwatered.
“Our 50 acre award winning landscape site is made possible by the great attention it receives from our partners at Mariani Landscape and Naturescape Irrigation. Naturescape Irrigation has been instrumental in the maintenance of this treasured asset. Their managers and technicians are incredibly responsive and resourceful. The customer service as well as the breadth of knowledge in their field is exceptional. As a manager, I truly appreciate the expertise and support I receive from Naturescape Irrigation. “
Lisa U. Rose, CMCA, AMS
Community Association Manager
Royal Ridge HOA