Saturday, November 28, 2015

Winterization--the Golf Course and Beyond

Most people are aware that this is the time of year when we remove the water, or "blow out" the golf course irrigation system to avoid the chance of pipes freezing during the winter.  However, the scale of this job may come as a surprise, as there are a number of other areas that must be winterized as well.

On the course itself, we have over 1,000 sprinklers, approximately 20 miles of 2" pipe, and another 5 miles of larger "main line" pipe, which ranges in size from 4" to 14" in diameter.  We use a large compressor, rated at 750 or 825 cubic feet per minute to deliver the volume of air needed to get this job done expeditiously.

For the golf course sprinklers, we connect into a port at each of our two pumping stations.  High volume is good, whereas high pressure is not.  Remember that, generally speaking, air can be compressed, whereas liquids can not.  With high pressure, the compressed air can expand quickly, breaking system components.
A large compressor is required for purging water from the golf course.

What you may not be aware of is that in addition to the golf course, there are several other locations on the property where water must be removed.  On the Clubhouse grounds, this includes the bridge crossing pipe, the 32 zones of turf and landscape irrigation, the unheated Cabana building itself, and the four har-tru tennis courts.
Water must be removed from the Cabana and tennis courts.

But wait, we're still not finished.  The entrance islands to the development also have irrigation systems which must be winterized.  In fact, there are three separate irrigation controllers, meter pits, and backflow preventers for these areas.

It's a good feeling when we finally get this annual project completed.  However, the success of this won't be known for months.  Only when we charge the system next March will we find out if our efforts kept all pipes from freezing.

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