Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Irrigation woes

Well it wasn't quite the start that I wanted as I checked the flow meter in the pump shed this morning, on the dawn of potentially the hottest day of the summer, to find that it was pumping 3,760 litres a minute which is just about the maximum it can safely do.  It should have been reading zero litres a minute so obviously something wasn't quite right!  It was still quite dark but a quick run up the 2nd West fairway soon showed up the problem with more water from an irrigation blow out than I have ever seen before with three fairways under a considerable amount of water.  The irrigation system had to be shut down as it wasn't possible to isolate the area and the repair was started.

It looks as if the pipe blew out fairly early in the night and so we have lost a lot of water which will impact what can be put out on the course over the coming week, and with no rainfall in the forecast that isn't an ideal situation.  The amount of water lost will probably mean that fairways will not be watered for at least the next five days whilst the dam refills.  The other issue was just how much of the irrigation cycle on the Bentgrass West greens had been effective overnight.  Without knowing for sure and with no back up water available during the day the greens weren't mown this morning.

The repair has been effected but due to the massive amount of water drained from the system we will not be able to re - charge the lines until this evening as the considerable amount of air that has entered the system needs to be purged which can't be done during play. 

The guilty pipe.
In the photo above you can see purple, green and blue tubes running along side the pipe.  These are hydraulic control tube lines that control the operation of the sprinklers and these particular tubes were all the rage in the late 1970's and early 1980's as they were cheap but didn't have a very long lifespan.  They have long been superceded in our system but their presence demonstrates the age of the installation meaning that the pipe has been there for well over thirty years!

Water backed back up to 12 West fairway

The actual break area.  The water line can be seen in the
dew showing just how much water was there.

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