BACKGROUND

Draingarde Sprinkler Head Covers

Aeration, topdressing, verticutting – these are all turf maintenance practices that could impact the sprinkler heads and other assets that are part of your irrigation system. Those practices involve staff time to flag sprinkler heads, clean up the sprinkler heads after topdressing and remove the flags. There is also the expense of replacing sprinkler heads that are damaged due to sand getting into the gears and from heads that stick open and, if not noticed by the fairway mower operator, could damage both the sprinkler head and the mower. All of these possibilities take time to implement and cost money.

Draingarde covers (DG6 – Fairways; DG4 – Greens) fit over the sprinkler heads. Their precise size and bright colour make them easy to place and see. They can be easily removed after the maintenance process has been completed. They are effective in reducing the staff time required to flag, unflag and clean sprinkler heads after the completion of these processes. They also reduce or eliminate the damage caused to irrigation system assets and therefore reduce overall operating costs for the system.

Draingarde covers cost $2,000 or less to outfit a typical 18-hole golf course. With a life span of five years or more, the annual cost is under $400, meaning that the savings on staff time alone to complete the flagging and cleaning process before and after aeration, topdressing and other similar processes will more than cover the annual associated costs. By using Draingarde covers, the life span and operational quality of your irrigation system assets will improve, saving you money and increasing the value associated with using Draingarde sprinkler covers.

Draingarde Catch Basin Covers

There is an increasing need to operate and maintain turf courses and surfaces in an ecologically friendly and environmentally sustainable manner. Water is an increasingly valued resource and golf courses continue to search for viable ways to reduce water usage on golf courses. To reflect good course stewardship ensuring that synthetic contaminants are minimized in the water systems comprised by the drainage infrastructure of the course or playing surface. A lack of water continues to be a serious concern for all countries and this is also true for golf courses and other turf playing surfaces particularly in regions which can experience drought. In addition, climate change is affecting weather patterns worldwide and even areas which may not have regularly experienced drought may at times be faced suddenly with rainfall shortages. Restrictions on water use, by local and regional governments, are typically put in force during times of drought and rainfall shortages. In turn, water usage restrictions, directly impact on golf course water management is a continually advancing concern.


 

The reduction of synthetic residues in the context of turf drainage systems is an important ongoing issue for golf courses and other high maintenance playing surfaces. Courses and other turf surfaces collect surface water and this in turn drains into the drainage systems which may lead to the surrounding water shed and aquifers. Fertilizers and pesticides are required for the maintenance of the course and/or surface; however, these synthetic inputs may not be absorbed by the turf itself and excess amounts may eventually enter the water of the drainage systems in place on the course or surface. Reductions in contamination of water systems by synthetic inputs can be required by legislation and is an important and integral part of turf management and stewardship.

As part of the stewardship of the golf course the maintenance and care of the turf should also include the water systems associated with turf maintenance. The use of recycled water on golf courses is becoming more prevalent in response to water usage restrictions. Irrigation is considered one of the best uses for recycled water because turfgrasses naturally filter the water before it returns to the drainage system and/or surrounding aquifer (Carson, T. “Recycled and, Possibly, Required” Golf Course Management, “GCM”, June 2013, at page 38).

In order to play golf or another sport which uses turfgrass as its playing surface, it is necessary to remove water from the course or surface before play on the surface commences. The use of “on-course” drainage systems and ponds to collect run-off water from turfgrass watering and rain continues to develop in the golf course industry. In particular the run-off is collected and stored for later irrigation of the turf where possible; however, few systems are entirely self contained and most eventually lead to the surrounding water shed and/or aquifers off site.

As described by Steve Trusty in the June 2013 issue of GCM, at page 36, water may be diverted into the water shed off the golf course or turf playing surface. Additional water drainage creeks, ponds, wet meadows and the like may be used to interconnect with existing ponds although a closed loop system is a luxury. As water moves through the course water shed, additional filtering can be managed.

Attention must be paid to managing what chemicals are placed on the turf and impeding transfer of these chemicals to the water shed, aquifers, and water systems present on golf courses. The devices and systems of the present invention reduce contamination of local water systems and aquifers and surrounding bodies of water

To maintain healthy turfgrasses applications of chemical and other treatments are required. At the same time the management of water on and around turf courses and playing surfaces is essential for the proper use of the facility. Accordingly drainage systems are used to collect water and to move water off the playing surface. The majority of turf courses worldwide have catch basins, of various kinds, to collect surface water that runs off and the drained surface water is collected and diverted. In golf particularly, excess water cannot stay on the playing surface and accordingly water maintenance is fundamental to turfgrass management.

Turf drainage systems are comprised of numerous catch basins which present directly to the water systems on and off the course or playing surface. Turf drainage openings, are covered at best by a grate over the opening. A grate prevents large items from falling into the drainage system; however, particulates or liquids applied to the turf, over the drainage openings, will still drop into the drainage and water systems thereby contaminating the water systems of the course and possibly the aquifer surrounding aquifer and other bodies of water. These contaminants greatly contribute to environmental risk and liability.

Accordingly, there remains a need to further protect the water systems and surrounds from synthetic chemical inputs on a turfgrass or a playing surface. There remains a need to address the increased risk of contamination of water systems as drainage increases on turf courses and surfaces.

Reducing impacts of golf courses on the surrounding environs is an ongoing goal for golf course superintendents and forms part of overall stewardship of the courses. The Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG) is a philanthropic organization of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) which is dedicated to strengthening the compatibility of the sport of golf with the natural environment. The golf course industry continues to advance towards greater sustainability and a commitment to continual improvement. The Best Management Practices (BMP) include water quality protection in which fertilizers and pest control products must be applied in ways required to achieve water quality protection goals.