Many winery owners are reluctant to spend tens of thousands of dollars, or more, on a pond that is solely for irrigation. If they’re already securing water rights for nearby rivers or drilling wells to fill the pond, you may wonder why you should build a pond just for storing the water. Well-designed irrigation ponds serve many purposes, ranging from enhancing the look of the landscape to enriching the environment. Don’t settle for a winery irrigation pond that only keeps your vines well-hydrated. Build a multi-purpose winery pond with these techniques and tips.
Many irrigation ponds, in agricultural areas, become unintended recreational attractions for nearby residents. Even if your irrigation pond is well-secured and not visible from nearby roads, it’s likely appealing to winery visitors. Yet, most irrigation water isn’t ideal for swimming or even letting pets swim in since it’s often high in algae, nutrients, and fertilizer runoff. If you want to design your irrigation pond for both purposes, make sure to add filters and aerators to keep water quality high. Limiting recreation to non-contact water sports like boating also offers multipurpose value without requiring extensive water treatment.
The easiest, secondary purpose for a winery irrigation pond is the decorative appeal. Simply spending a little extra time and money on a natural looking edge treatment is well worth the cost for the visual improvement. Planted irrigation ponds are also more erosion resistant and attractive to wildlife, making them more valuable to the winery property in general. Wastewater doesn’t have to look unpleasant and can easily add property appeal with the addition of the right wetland plants and proper placement away from direct visitor access. No matter the type or size of irrigation pond, it’s possible to make the water feature more attractive without a lot of money.
Wildlife Habitat and Constructed Wetland
Many wineries accidentally disturb valuable, wildlife habitat space during their establishment; even despite the best efforts of the owners and designers. Building new ponds can create valuable constructed wetlands that help migrating birds, amphibians, insects, and more find food and shelter. As long as the banks are gently sloped enough for wildlife to get back out of the water, there should be no issue with animals interfering with irrigation pumps or lines. Liners must be buried and well-protected to prevent damage from animals, but this is the case even if you’re not explicitly trying to attract wildlife. You’ll likely find at least one local wildlife or environmental restoration group that can help with the planning and execution of the habitat project.
Wastewater Treatment, Storage, and Reuse
Irrigation ponds can also double as the treatment and storage ponds for wastewater intended for reuse. However, most systems will require two or more ponds to separate fresh irrigation water and wastewater that’s still being processed. With use of the right cleaning and sanitizing products, some wineries manage to use their wastewater directly for irrigation with no further treatment. In these cases, you’ll likely save space and installation costs by consolidating storage into a single pond. Even if you don’t plan to reuse your wastewater for irrigation, you’ll likely need at least one additional pond for storing it until it’s trucked away for discharge or treatment.
Storm Water Management
Due to the sloped surfaces and relatively dry soils found in many of the world’s top wine-producing regions, many wineries also need extensive storm water management planning. The same pond that holds the runoff after a storm can also double as an irrigation pond, especially if surface runoff is the primary source of water on the vineyard. Sizing a pond that must hold both surge amounts of storm water and standard amounts of irrigation water is tricky. Consider working with an engineer to ensure the pond system doesn’t overflow and become more of a hazard than a help in a serious storm.
Get the most out of every gallon of water you store in a pond, regardless of its eventual use. Irrigation ponds can double as swimming holes or sources of water for flushing toilets if water quality is maintained carefully over the years. It’s much easier to keep quality high when the irrigation pond has a proper liner. Start your winery irrigation ponds off right with a quality liner from BTL Liners.