Monday, December 21, 2015

Buried Treasure

While we may not have found anything we could use to pay off holiday shopping bills, the rental of a metal detector last week did help locate several irrigation quick coupler valves, many of which had been buried for the past 25 years.
The $15 to rent a metal detector was well worth it.

Without an "as-built" or drawing of record for the golf course irrigation system, locating valves can be difficult.  For some holes, we have the irrigation contractor's field notes, which can be helpful, but aren't drawn to scale, and often are like trying to decipher hieroglyphics. 

The quick coupler valves we located are what we connect to for handwatering with a hose.  When originally installed, no valve boxes were placed around these, so many were soon grown over.  Other isolation valves on the golf course only had a 4" sleeve of PVC and 4" cap over them.  Trying to find a 4" lid in the Fescue is truly like trying to find a needle in a haystack. 

In an effort to make all irrigation components easier to find, we have standardized on using 10" round valve boxes.  When you know the general idea of a valve's location, this dramatically increases the odds of finding it, as a 10" round lid has close to 3X the surface area of a 6" lid, and more than 6X  the area of a 4" lid.
This quick coupler valve sees the light of day for the first time in 25 years.

One of the projects we'll be tackling this winter is the installation of 60 additional quick coupler valves, primarily for hand watering fairways.  For both the new and old valves, we'll be sure to place them in valve boxes, so it's not the year 2040 when someone finds them again.

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