It began as a small nursery providing shade trees and potted nursery products to local customers.
Today, Acorn Farms Nursery, Galena, OH is one of the nation’s largest wholesale producers of shade trees and nursery stock, with 800 acres of field stock and another 160 acres of container stock, all located in greenhouses and holding areas that take on the appearance of dense woodlands, where thousands of saplings await delivery to local nurseries. During the peak-growing season, all those plants require lots of water – nearly 25 million gallons of water per month.
Acorn Farms gets its water from a variety of sources.
“We use well water, pond water and creek water,” said Jerry Fultz, Operations Manager, Acorn Farms. “As the company has grown, our need for water has grown. Ron Eger continues to advise us; his expertise is vital, because water is like gold to us.”
From a single Goulds Water Technology pump located in a small pump house that once delivered the necessary 80 gallons a minute, Acorn Farms now has the capability to pump up to 3,000 gallons per minute, using new Goulds Water Technology constant pressure systems that monitor the supply of water, said Ron Eger, owner of Cal Eger & Sons Pumps, Dublin, OH.
The nursery is equipped with irrigation products ranging from simple drip systems for potted plants to enormous oscillating sprinklers that can accurately throw ropes of water more than half the distance of a football field.
As more water is needed, the variable speed drives automatically ramp up the pumps. What was moments before a spring shower, in seconds can be turned into a veritable deluge of rain, delivering powerful bursts of water that can feed an entire field of young, spawning foliage, Ron said. “Everything is metered,” he said. Energy costs are a major factor as well. The variable speed controllers help save on energy costs as well as wear on the pumps.
Xylem, Goulds Water Technology, energy-efficient pumps and controllers can significantly reduce building energy requirements – using nearly 70% less energy than standard products.
“We have submersibles pumping well water. We have pumps pulling water out of creek beds and little ponds. And we have storm drainage systems onsite that capture the water, and pumps that put the captured water back into a pond,” Ron said. “We collect about 300,000 gallons of water a day for re-use.”
The one-acre pond, appearing more like a small lake, serves as a “holding tank” for the re-cycled water, until Goulds Water Technology pumps can re-deliver the water to the field and nursery stock all over again, Ron said. We also use the resevoir of water to meet our peak demands. When it’s dry, plants need a lot of water… quickly.
Ron is a second generation Goulds Water Technology professional who still does a fair share of work in the residential markets. He said, “This has totally changed our business. I never dreamed that we would be setting these pumps, and the size of the pumps that we are installing today.”