EPIC System total water management: truly a sustainable landscaping practice.

Dr. Mike O’Brien envisioned a commercial veterinary hospital to last the ages. Installed in 2012, The Beckwith Veterinary Hospital in Modesto, CA, is a state of the art facility. It operates off the grid with sustainable landscaping that captures water when it rains. There is a solar panel roof, green roof and gray water reuse. There isĀ no exposure to humans or pets. A key tool to the sustainable landscaping is the use of the Environmental Passive Integrated Conveyance (EPIC) system.

A linear intercept to filter stormwater.

The construction of the animal hospital began grading the 300,000 gallon cistern first. Unseen to the naked eye, the cistern is hidden underneath the parking area. Here, stormwater is filtered at the edge of the pavement.

Paver edge intercept

Intercept EPIC filter installation

The patented drainage pipes are first covered with fine gravel. Here is where the EPIC chamber internal flow separates oils from the water. The concrete pavers are then placed over the EPIC system. When in use, the stormwater drains from the EPIC filter into the cistern. Hence, winter rains are harvested and stored for use during the next summer, and the cycle repeats.

Grey water reuse: What is “yucky” to humans is “yummy” to plants.

Fact: Outdoor irrigation uses a large portion of our water supply.

To increase water efficiency, grey water reuse systems are put in place by many countries around the world. Unlike many grey water reuse systems, EPIC does not require pre-treatment. Instead, the EPIC system IS the pre-treatment. Stanislaus County has approved the lined septic leach field to reuse sink and wash water from the animal hospital. The field inlets switch between leach lines to allow natural breakdown of surplus biomass in the system. Here, soaps that may contain sulfates, phosphates or nitrates are broken down as nutrients. These nutrients are then used to feed plants and trees. There are no bad smells or odors to be found. You’ll see that plants in the EPIC system grow quickly. This is because there are air pockets in between the sand particles.

Better yet, the EPIC chambers never clog. This is because the EPDM liner acts as a wall. As a result, every single drop of water is kept and reused.

Sustainable landscaping and grey water reuse

Beckwith Veterinary Hospital, November 2017. EPIC system sustainable landscaping and grey water reuse – 5 years after installation.

Author Tomas Sipaila

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