Summerhill Community Gardens Benefit from Irrigation System Developed by TCD Civil Engineers

20 August 2010

A team from TCD's School of Engineering were recently involved in a project involving the residents of Dublin's inner city neighbourhood of Summerhill to develop a sustainable method of irrigation for the local community garden.  The Trinity College team, made up of Dr Laurence Gill, David Misstear, Patrick Veale and Dave McCauley of the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, worked alongside the local community residents to provide two separate irrigation systems for pumping harvested rainfall back onto plants.

The rainfall collected was channelled into a holding tank underground.  The challenge for the team was devising a method for bringing the water back up from underground to water the outside plants and also feed the pressurised sprinkler system.  The solution was twofold and included both a solar powered pump to irrigate the outside plants, and a bicycle powered pump to feed the sprinkler system in the garden.  The bicycle was chosen as an attractive sustainable energy technology which provided a focal point of interest and stimulation for the children in the area.

Summerhill community garden.

Speaking about the project Dr Laurence Gill said: "The design and development of the irrigation systems was a great opportunity for us to get involved and contribute to the development of an important local community facility.  It's great to see that everybody's efforts paid off as the garden has been chosen to represent Dublin in the national Pride of Place competition this year." 

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