Friday, May 7, 2010

NCGA Area of Emphasis: Irrigation and Water Use Efficiencies

As we all know by now; we are currently installing a new irrigation system at Pasatiempo as part of our move toward environmental stewardship and improved course conditioning. The old system was extremely inefficient and unreliable, and with the increasing focus on water use and efficiency in Northern/Central California, we didn’t have many other options than to upgrade. The irrigation installation company (Leibold Irrigation) has completed all but two holes of the golf course, installing all new mainline, lateral lines, wiring, heads, and satellites. As we move forward we will be spending the remainder of the irrigation season working with representatives from Toro’s irrigation division to adjust sprinkler arc and angle, nozzles, and run times to create the most efficient and affective irrigation system possible.

We will also be using the latest technologies in irrigation to manage our irrigation system as well as our turfgrass. These technologies and innovations include individual head control, iPhone/iPad applications, new Toro VP satellites, and sub-surface drip irrigation around our bunkers. Although the new system and innovative technologies will be a great improvement it will, by no means, eliminate the need for “old fashioned” techniques such as hand watering and daily course monitoring. As most of our readers also know we have eliminated almost 30 acres of what was once irrigated turfgrass throughout the golf course and replaced it with native grasses that will be completely un-irrigated, which will be a major factor in reducing our overall water use.

Currently our water supply is from the city of Santa Cruz, and consists of extremely valuable and expensive potable water. Our system is under constant pressure from city mainlines that enter the golf course in three different locations. Our plan for the next two years is to install a pump and mixing station to accommodate the use of recycled water from the city of Scotts Valley. Although this will be less expensive and provide a good use for water that otherwise would be piped into the Pacific Ocean, we will be faced with new challenges including increased salt levels in the soil that accompany the use of recycled water which can lead to many different issues in turfgrass management.

Due to my extensive irrigation background, along with the training I have received since coming to Pasatiempo (hands on experience with the installation of the new system, Toro Site-Pro training, etc…), I feel confident that I will be able to assist in the implementation of our new irrigation plan, and I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead.

No comments:

Post a Comment

My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.