This is the time of year for irrigation repair. After firing up the system in early April, we spend a lot of time auditing the system. By carefully checking every hole and irrigation satellite, we can pin point problems and find a solution before they become a bigger problem. Auditing the system now, while the rain is still here, allows us to get every hole working properly before it’s too late. We want to make sure the irrigation heads are turning on and functioning as they are designed to do. If we didn’t go through this process we could see damage to turf simply because a single head isn’t preforming as intended. Heads can be clogged, not turning while running, and even be set in the off position by mistake. Satellites could have blown fuses from lightening which will cause them to not work at all. These are just a few examples, the list of possible issues is far too long to include in one month’s addition of Turf Talk. Most of these problems are quick and simple fixes but there are also the not so simple pipe breaks and leaks that are more concerning.
A few weeks ago you may have noticed a large hole behind #3 tee. This was one of the toughest leaks I’ve seen in my 7 years here at Heritage. The problem was a hairline crack in our irrigation main line. The pipe itself is 8″ in diameter, the largest pipe we have in ground on our system. This large pipe feeds the smaller sections (3″-1″ diameter) that the sprinklers are connected to. The pipe was around 7 feet deep so we rented a mini excavator to dig a large enough hole to work on the pipe safely. After getting parts sent overnight, we fixed the problem and got the system back up and running.
Irrigation work is the never ending irritation that haunts every course. Our system has been in use for 25 years, breaks will happen and we will continue to dig holes. It’s the smaller problems, like a clogged head, that we can proactively fix before the summer gets here. For now our system is working properly. Lets all knock on wood!
I hope everyone has enjoyed the course this spring and is looking forward to an even better summer. I’d like to thank my Assistants and crew for all their long hours getting the course in great shape.
As always, GO BUCKS!
Dave Norris, Superintendent