Roosevelt University’s RUrbanPioneers Community Garden Drip Irrigation is here!

The Sustainability team at Roosevelt’s Schaumburg campus teamed up in late June to install the first-ever drip irrigation in the community garden.

RU_irrigation_mary_kevin_barrels

Mary Rasic, Kevin Markowski (shown) and Pedro Perez will no longer be filling barrels twice a week.

Previously, water barrels were filled and irrigation consisted of hand-carried buckets, a time intensive practice.

Two years in the making, Sustainability interns Mary Beth Radeck, Kevin Markowski and Mary Rasic partnered with Pedro Perez, Chief Engineer at Schaumburg to plan and execute this improvement. The team expects to save up to 50% of the water used to irrigate the garden this year—reducing the effort and costs of irrigation, but also improving the environment, too.

RU_irrigation_trench

First, trenches were dug for irrigation lines.

Drip irrigation delivers water slowly, at low pressure near the plant’s roots so that none is wasted and less water evaporates. Usually used with flower beds and gardens or hard to water areas, drip is more efficient and effective than spray irrigation, and much more precise by allowing maximum control over how much water is given to each individual plant. Control of the water reduces runoff and erosion, as well.

RU_irrigation_installed

Irrigation spigots provide water to each garden plot. Gardeners install micro-tubing which delivers water to each plant.

A drip system is easy to install and even available at local home improvement centers such as Home Depot. Every garden should have one, especially as water costs rise and the risks to Lake Michigan water levels continue.

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