Water World: Meijer mishap

June 26, 2019 -  By

Location Grand Rapids, Mich.
Company Winchel Irrigation

New construction and setbacks go hand in hand. However, during an irrigation system installation, Greg Winchel, owner of Winchel Irrigation, experienced worse than a minor mishap when his crews’ work was completely ripped out.

The site was home to a new Meijer gas station and convenience store. Winchel arrived at the commercial site to find part of the two-day-old system removed. The culprit: signage installation for a nearby drive-thru.

“I showed up there one day to check on the system, and it was all torn up,” he says. “I was not a happy person.”
Located across from Meijer headquarters, the gas station’s advertised opening date created a rigid timeline. With the work ripped out, crews only had two days to repair the system.

“We had to get everything back up and running because all the sod was already in,” Winchel says. “It was August and 85 degrees with no rain and high humidity.”

The property and its sprinkler system were built to run efficiently and be environmentally friendly.

The Rain Bird system’s controller used on the property can sense if a sprinkler is broken and will shut down to avoid water waste. Pressure-regulating sprinkler heads with high-efficiency nozzles also help keep water use in check.
In the end, crews met the deadline, and the site was ready for the grand opening.

Photo: Greg Winchel

WEATHER WATCH Designed using AutoCAD, the irrigation system waters the property’s 60,000-square-foot lawn area. A Rain Bird controller adjusts the schedule based on weather data it receives. Photo: Greg Winchel

Photo: Greg Winchel

CHARGE IT UP Across from Meijer’s corporate headquarters, this flagship property is a model for future convenience store sites. The efficient gas station even includes electric car charging ports. Photo: Greg Winchel

Photo: Greg Winchel

COORDINATE Because of delays from initial construction, the allotted two and a half weeks was cut down to one week. To meet the deadline, three installation crews arrived at 5 a.m. daily, before any of the other contractors. Photo: Greg Winchel

Photo: Greg Winchel

PASS THE BATON A lot of overtime was put into completing the project. Winchel says his crews coordinated closely with the landscape crews. “They were under the same timetable we were,” he says. “They were laying sod right behind us as we finished up irrigation lines.” Photo: Greg Winchel

Photo: Greg Winchel

Photo: Greg Winchel

Photo: Greg Winchel

Photo: Greg Winchel

Photo: Greg Winchel

Photo: Greg Winchel

Photo: Greg Winchel

Photo: Greg Winchel

Photo: Greg Winchel

Photo: Greg Winchel

Photo: Greg Winchel

Photo: Greg Winchel

Photo: Greg Winchel

Photo: Greg Winchel

Photo: Greg Winchel

Photo: Greg Winchel

Photo: Greg Winchel

Photo: Greg Winchel

Danielle Pesta

About the Author:

Danielle Pesta is the associate editor of Landscape Management. She started writing for the green industry in 2014 and has won multiple awards from the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA). She can be reached at dpesta@northcoastmedia.net.

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