Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Hot June

Surviving June at Swope

Once again, I'm sitting here writing a blog with 2 inches of rain out on the course. Maybe I should start writing these damn things 12 times a month? Throughout this month it's only rained twice, and I've wrote two posts....maybe if this drought continues into July I will try a rain dance blog. I'll keep ya updated. We might as well stay on this topic of water for this blog. 

Last year, the city started a huge project on Gregory road, installing a new main water line along with new hydrants. When they were working, they somehow contaminated our irrigation system, that runs off of the same main line, with rock sediment. This sediment made its way throughout the entirety of our course system, our sprinkler heads were the most affected. The rocks clogged up the screens completely shutting down supply to the head, they wedged themselves in the mechanics of the head not allowing it to completely shut after it runs, and it just kind of gunks up every piece of those heads. 

(Clogged sprinkler on 17. Notice the green grass follows the path of the puddle the sprinkler leaves.)

Fixing these issues is an absolute nightmare. First, thanks to the drought we are currently in, when you look at the fairways there are large dry circles. So identifying which sprinklers are affected is the easy part. Once the sprinklers on a hole are flagged, you have to isolate the hole via valves, a nightmare in itself. Every turn on these old valves could be its last, leaving you with a broken open or closed valve, another story for another time. When the hole is isolated, you disassemble the sprinkler head so that the system is open to allow debris to blow out of sprinkler housing.

(Difficult to see, but there are 3 disassembled sprinkers in a row here on #5, not pictured are the other 3 behind me.)

Now the sprinklers are open, you'll open a main valve to pressurize the hole and allow whatever was clogging the lines to blow out, this is the hope. Most times you will see the sediment bubbling out, but I'm sure that some comes out and some just moves on further down the line. Once water is flowing out of the empty housings free of debris, you re-isolate the hole so you can install the sprinkler heads back into their housing. After that, you again open the valve to pressurize the hole and test your fixes. 

(Flushing hole 6's heads.)

Sometimes the heads are fixed, sometimes their not, no matter how much effort you put into the tasks above, it just doesn't work. More rocks could have shifted, you could have a faulty foot valve that allows water into the sprinkler, and with these issues, you start all the way over from the's brutal on a man when that happens. But, it is what it is and we need our sprinklers, so ya just gotta keep swimming, just keep swimming.

Hoping for more rain in the coming days and easy fixes for myself and Sam.

Fix your divots and tip your beer cart girl!