Big box stores have been common in the suburbs for years, but now many are making their way to the city. For example, Costco opened a new location just south of the Rush Medical Hospital, near Interstate 290.

J.M. irrigation was tasked with installing the irrigation system for this brand new store. The architecture for this Costco was approached much more differently than with that of their “standard” stores. Obviously, the landscaping followed the same idea. Heavily planted green spaces with plenty of shade trees along with native plants and tens of thousands of gallons of ground covers. All of this was to be placed on top of an “urban landfill,” which allowed anything, besides hazardous waste like oil and gas, to remain underground.

Clearly, this would be a challenge for J.M. irrigation. A lack of insight into what is beneath the surface can create serious irrigation issues down the road. Materials such as granite and brick were used to construct roadways in the 1890’s, and were unearthed during the trenching pipe faze of the installation. Later, tires, garbage, and rubble were all pulled from the earth during the beginning stages of the project.

After refuse was removed, the next step was to lay the drip line. J.M. irrigation used some 50,000 liner feet of drip line and buried it approximately 3-4” below the soil surface. Strategically placed emitters were placed at the base of most plants. They proposed fine turf areas would be irrigated with standard irrigation, while native turf areas would be irrigated with Rainbird rotors to provide space for proper watering, knowing that eventually that grass would no longer require massive amounts of water.

Progressing forward, there were several challenges including unique conditions, design strategies, stringent pressure testing and quality control. Each of these aspects required J.M. Irrigation to be at their best. At one point, a drought struck the area, and it came during the phase just after millions of dollars’ worth of plants had been installed. Thankfully, the drip line that had been installed ensured that all plants were able to be efficiently water with no concern over evaporation or local water restrictions. Despite this, the drought continued to bite back. Fortunately, they were able to keep plant survival at well above the normal 5% loss ratio.

The goal of quality irrigation from beginning to end had been accomplished. The hard working crews of J.M. Irrigation persevered even in the face of a daunting drought and weather conditions. That determination and outcome is what sets J.M. Irrigation apart from any other irrigation contractor in the area.