Thursday, June 24, 2010


For those of you who don't know, as of last year we started accepting reclaimed water from the General Mills plant across the river. They were kind enough to want to help a small business such as ours rather than send it back to the city for treatment. They invested a lot of money into getting us the water, which they want us to use. For those of you who already knew this, I have been trying to put out as much water as I possibly can in our 8-10 hour watering window. Unfortunately we have a lot of electrical issues on the course that kind of hamper our ability to put out water. We have 12 satellites on the course that control all of the heads on the course. each controller governs from 1-3 holes (up to 68 Stations). A Station is a wire path from the Satellite to the Sprinkler Head(there may be up to 3 heads per station). The heads and the wire paths are where our problems lie. The wires have been nicked or broken in many places which will cause what we call a ground fault. Some of the heads just have prior damage to them in the form of a blown solenoid, or have been manually shut off. of the 850 heads that we have on the course I would say that 50% of them operate on a programmable basis. Many of these heads will come on if I go out and manually turn them on, but I do not have the time in a week to operate all of the missing heads manually, and I doubt that you as a golfer enjoy coming up to a fairway with 12 heads running in the landing area. Believe me, I wish that I could push a magic button and make this place nice and soft and green all of the time, but the reality is there is no quick fix. I have purchased a piece of equipment called a ground fault locator. Hopefully this will help me track down some of the shortcomings of the irrigation system this winter. The other issue with putting out water is the fact that we do not have a central control unit to run our irrigation system. A central control unit is a computer that maximize and prioritize the amount and location of water that goes out overnight. Now I am programming by the satellites. This means that I have 12 satellites fighting for program time, essentially competing with each other. The central control would coordinate the programing to where the satellite stops the program because it knows that another needs the water.
This is not a lobby for new equipment. I am simply trying to have something out there for the member or other patron who might wonder why we have so many dry spots on our course.