Processing Magazine

Grundfos breaks ground on major water conservation initiative in Fresno

June 11, 2012

FRESNO, Calif. — Global pump manufacturer Grundfos celebrated the groundbreaking of a three-part project to recover and reduce irrigation water on June 6. Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin and Councilman Larry Westerlund joined Grundfos in marking the beginning of construction on a new Master Plan that features water-conscious landscape, a natural filtration system and two water detention basins – all part of an effort to boost the city’s groundwater supply by completely eliminating the use of potable water for campus irrigation

Dave Mortensen, senior vice president of finance and quality manager for Grundfos, said the project demonstrated Grundfos’ commitment to “take its own medicine” with respect to sustainability and the appropriate use of potable water.

“It is Fresno’s largest scale complete removal of ‘traditional’ landscaping to be replaced with water-efficient landscaping,” Mortensen said, “as well as the first combination of rainwater recovery and groundwater recharge by a private party in cooperation with the City of Fresno.”

The new Master Plan will feature a water-wise landscape design that replaces existing plants with species that consume less water and are more appropriate to the area’s demanding climate. The Grundfos Fresno campus originally consumed nearly 6 million gallons of potable water each year. The new design will reduce water demand by more than 83 percent.

The water conservation initiative will also include a recovery system to reclaim, treat and reuse rainwater to irrigate the new water-wise landscape. A four-acre water detention basin is planned to collect enough recycled water to support the external water needs of the entire campus – about the size of 21 football fields – without the use of any potable water. Another basin will allow rainwater to seep into the earth and recharge the area’s groundwater supply. To help purify the water prior to entering the detention basins, the architects have designed a natural filtration system called a bio-swale.

The Grundfos Water Conservation/Recovery Project was initiated last year to completely eliminate the use of potable water for campus irrigation by the end of 2012. The plan also includes installing a smart irrigation system that ties into existing Grundfos technology for monitoring and operation.

The aggressive plan bolsters existing sustainability programs already in place at the 180,000 square-foot manufacturing facility, which has already achieved a 30 percent reduction in energy use per unit of output since 2000. Other energy-saving initiatives include the addition of a seven-acre solar array, use of energy-efficient lighting, air compressors, pumps, fans and low-flow plumbing fixtures. The effort is part of a corporate-wide sustainability initiative that seeks to reduce CO2 emissions, energy consumption and hazardous waste levels.