November 29, 2013

Irrigation Pond Fixes

Now that the ground is frozen and our friends at Florians Excavating have a few spare moments, we finally were able to tackle the leaking pond overflow culvert.  I discovered back in the middle of the summer that the 15" steel pipe that acts as the high level overflow to the pond, had rusted out somewhere below the water level and was leaking approximately 50 GPM, or 72,000 gallons per day, or somewhere in the neighborhood of 11,000,000 gallons over the course of the summer.  That was all water that we had to pay to pump back into the pond to keep it full.  Needless to say, it was a big deal to get this taken care of.  The old steel culvert was dug back about 5' into the pond bank, smashed, buried in 5,000 lbs of concrete, and then covered back up in dirt.  A new culvert was then dug in about 100' to the north.

Nothing is quite as exciting as that moment when a 25 year old piece of junk
(pain in my rear end) gets torn out of the ground to get replaced!

The new culvert is set entirely above the normal water level, meaning it can
never "leak."  Also, we set the new overflow level about 5" higher than
the old culvert, meaning our pond is capable of holding an extra 335,000
gallons now.

Good time of the year to tear things up....

The new overflow empties out into Cole Creek about 100' further north
of the old pipe, and is piped much closer to the actual creek bank, so
hopefully the bank failure will not continue so rapidly there.

When we finished installing the new overflow pipe, we then turned our attention to the other side of the irrigation pond by 14 fairway.  Back in the beginning of November I removed the old steel culvert that had heaved out of the ground there, with the intention of replacing it with a more functional culvert.  We were able to install a new 8" culvert underneath 14 fairway that will allow us to pump water out of the lakes north of the property without having to actually pump the water into our irrigation pond first.  When the lake level begins to drop as the summer progresses, we will have the ability to close that pipe, and fill our irrigation pond via the river pump or a pump on 14 fairway.

Furthermore, while we had the area torn up, we also installed a 4" pipe and some electrical conduit.  Next spring we should be able to buy a small electric pump that can be installed on the north side of 14 fairway, and pump water from the lake to our irrigation pond through the 4" pipe.  If all goes well, we should never have to use a gas pump or blue hoses on 14 fairway ever again....

Removing the old steel culvert that had heaved up in 14 fairway.

Installation of the new 8" pipe

Lots of new utilities installed under 14 fairway.

Like a lot of the projects we do on the golf course, this one will never be seen or directly affect anyone playing golf, but the impacts that it will have on the way we manage the golf course will be huge.  One of the biggest challenges we have had the last few summers has been trying to keep our irrigation pond full.  Not only will these two projects eliminate countless headaches for me and my staff and allow us to focus on more important aspects of the course, but the cost savings (mostly in fuel costs for the gas pumps, as well as more limited electrical power to run the river pump) should add up to a decent amount next summer as well.  And lastly, after we regrade and reseed the area in the middle of 14 fairway next spring, we should finally be able to have some nice turf there next year!

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