August 10, 2022
Seiko Holdings Corporation
Morioka Seiko Instruments Inc. (President: Yoshiaki Hayashi; head office: Shizukuishi-cho, Iwate-gun, Iwate Prefecture; hereafter "Morioka Seiko"), which manufactures watches for Seiko Watch Corporation, a group company of Seiko Holdings Corporation (Chairman & Group CEO, CCO: Shinji Hattori; head office: Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan; hereafter "Seiko Holdings"), opened a biotope with a water resource recycling mechanism on its premises on August 10, 2022, in cooperation with Iwate Prefectural University (President: Atsuto Suzuki; Takizawa City, Iwate Prefecture).
Biotope is a combination of the words “bio" (living organism) and “tope" (space, place), and refers to a space in which the habitat of living organisms is artificially restored to something close to its natural state. This new project is called Waku-Waku (Exciting) Biotope.
The Waku-Waku Biotope was established as part of biodiversity conservation activities aimed at creating a new ecosystem that includes a waterside area as well as local vegetation. The water source is equipped with a recycling mechanism that uses rainwater from the site while adjusting the water quality with the power of the natural environment.
The edge of the pond is planted with 52 species of wildflowers and trees native to the local area, and a barrier-free walking path is provided for visitors to enjoy. The pavement is made of environmentally friendly soil-based pavement.
In March 2022, Morioka Seiko concluded a joint research agreement with Iwate Prefectural University, which helped with design and construction management in developing the Waku-Waku Biotope.
Outline of Waku-Waku Biotope
Total area: 2,833 ㎡
Pond area: 200 ㎡
Wetland area: 130 ㎡
Rain garden area: 25 ㎡
About the water resource recycling mechanism
(1) Rain garden and denitrification hill to purify rainwater
Rainwater contains acidic components (sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides) and impurities (organic matter, sodium, chlorine, etc.). Nitrogen is a fertilizer for plants, which leads to eutrophication (excess nutrients), the proliferation of phytoplankton, and ultimately, consumption of oxygen in the water as their carcasses accumulate at the bottom. This makes it difficult for aquatic organisms to live in such an environment. In the Waku-Waku Biotope, rainwater falling from the roof of Morioka Seiko’s factory is collected in a box and flows into the rain garden via buried pipes. The Denitrification Hill, located between the rain garden and the pond, is a natural filtration system consisting of multiple layers of several types of sand. Here, impurities are filtered and nitrate components are denitrified by anaerobic microorganisms in order to continuously purify and utilize the rainwater.
(2) Improvement of pond water quality using container artificial wetlands
Closed ponds are known to have a negative impact on both the appearance and health of their ecosystems as a result of eutrophication caused by increased phytoplankton. The Waku-Waku Biotope consists of plantings in the water recycling path of the pond and a man-made "container artificial wetland" that is equipped with filtering materials. The container artificial wetland maintains and improves the pond's water quality by removing phytoplankton and other organic matter through the oxidative decomposition action of aerobic microorganisms.
Morioka Seiko plans to continue joint research with Iwate Prefectural University. In the future, the company hopes to recycle wastewater from its factory as an additional water source, and at the same time, preserve local endangered species by utilizing the waterside environment. The Waku-Waku Biotope will initially be a place for learning about the environment and a place for company employees to relax, but in the future the company plans to open it to the public.
About Morioka Seiko Instruments Inc.
Morioka Seiko was established in 1970 as one of Seiko’s watch manufacturing facilities. Today, it is a subsidiary of Seiko Watch Corporation, a Seiko Holdings Group company, and is responsible for the manufacture of high-end mechanical watches and analog quartz movements. In 2020, Morioka Seiko opened the Grand Seiko Studio Shizukuishi, designed by world-famous architect Kengo Kuma. The company has been promoting the preservation of biodiversity in the surrounding areas, including woodlands on the factory grounds and the Nanatsu Forest in Shizukuishi Town, where the company is located. The firm has been working to preserve the environment by concluding a Corporate Forestation agreement with both Shizukuishi Town and Iwate Prefecture.
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