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Basics of golf course irrigation system


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Slides I used to teach about the irrigation system on a golf course. These are just the basic knowledge. Would be good to share knowledge. Do comment to add or to correct me if I'm wrong.

Basics of golf course irrigation system

  1. 1. “let’s make it wet”
  2. 2. Intro Water is 80 -85% of grass plant Important to maintain quality golf. All greens and most tees are irrigated Good golf courses will irrigate fairway some even roughs.
  3. 3. Types of irrigation1. Central control automatic irrigation system2. Stand-alone control automatic irrigation system3. Stand-alone control non-automatic4. Manually operated valves5. Manual Quick Coupler Valves (QCV)
  4. 4. Components1. Water source2. Pump station3. Water distribution pipes (plus valves)4. Control valves5. Control lines (plus controller)6. Sprinkler heads
  5. 5. Why irrigation important Important practice Determines health of plant Too much / too little is problem Dry out the course / makes the course soggy Algae Diseases Life or death Affects play (long or short)
  6. 6. Algae & heat stress
  7. 7. Water source Lake, pond – usually man-made Usually fed by drainage system Sometimes water source is well (underground water) 6 – 700 metres deep. Pumped into reservoir 1st. Rarely river because water quality issues 18 hole Golf course require 2,000 gallons per minute of water flow rate. Caution re particulate matter such as algae, aquatic weeds, sand, debris, fish, frogs, and snails. Effluent water can be used
  8. 8. Particulate materials Organic materials – leaves, sticks, algae etc is problem Use strainers to prevent Sand cause problems in whole irrigation system – slow water, erode, wear and tear faster Use sand separator to prevent Introduced contaminates into the system: when repair of leaking pipes or initial installation More care and flushing after repair is the solution.
  9. 9. Automatic irrigation system Is essentially fixed sprinklers automatically activated by control valves at times preset on a controller. The times may be from beginning to finish – full automatic Or beginning is manual activated and ending is at times preset. Maybe centrally controlled Or on a few ‘satellites’ which are ‘stand-alone’
  10. 10. Pump station Draw water from source Release water into system as needed Pump house Wet-well / pit Sometimes pump-house over the source
  11. 11. Water distribution system Pipe – permanently underground Large pipes at station and became smaller and smaller Pressure rating – estimated maximum pressure water in pipe that pipe won’t fail. PVC – poly vinyl chloride PE – poly ethylene. Cheaper than PVC but weaker. GI – galvanized iron
  12. 12. Control Valves Valves – to release water either into lines or into valves. Manually open or closing Or remotely by  Hydraulic switches  Electrically operated solenoid Three important places  At distribution lines  At sprinklers  At pump station
  13. 13. Control valve Delivery to sprinkler  Valve-in-head (VIH)  Block system Valve at distribution lines  Gate valves / isolation valves  Drain valves – to drain a line  Pressure-relief valves  Air-valves / vacuum-relief valve Valve at pump station  Foot valve – at intake pipe  Discharge valve  A check valve
  14. 14. Block system
  15. 15. Controller Vital component – starts and stops the valves Automatic system – needs a clock One controller has many stations. One station is one valve. One valve is one sprinkler (VIH) or many (block) May be controlled via Central Controller Or on its own – Stand-alone Satellite controller
  16. 16. Sprinkler heads Many types: Fixed spray, pop-up, bubblers, strip, rotary. Golf course is rotary and pop-up Mostly 360 degrees turn.
  17. 17. Sprinkler performance.
  18. 18. Valve-in-head
  19. 19. Fertigation Chemical injected into irrigation system Proportioner pump Adjust rates Key to succeed is uniform application Must remember about effect of chemical on system!
  20. 20. Operation No perfect irrigation system Needs expertise to operate Most golf courses are over-irrigated (at least greens are)  The pressure to get soft greens and green, lush grass  Bad practice or no knowledge by Supt  Limitation s or bad design of irrigation system
  21. 21. operation Too often irrigation is by habit or by calendar Should be according to turfgrass needs. Assess :  soil moisture levels at key sites  Temperature, humidity  Cloud cover  Wind conditions  ET rate  Rainfall over next few days. then only decide to water or not to water
  22. 22. When to irrigate By observing water status1. in turf by:  Foot printing technique  Signs of actual wilt2. In soil by:  Soil probe 8 inch deep at various locations  Tensiometer to measure soil moisture Preferably early morning
  23. 23. When to irrigateDon’t water in afternoon because1. Bad distribution due to high winds2. Water loss due to evaporation3. Inconvenience to golfers4. Leaf and soil moist easier to get infected plus algae
  24. 24. syringing Very light, mid-day watering To relief stress due to wilt or heat. Maybe even 2x a day. Must be visual inspection before decide
  25. 25. Water splash
  26. 26. Sprinkler in action