Golf Course Management

OCT 2018

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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Page 59 of 101

56 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 10.18 source of diseases like E. coli. A healthy bacte- rial population plays a big part in stopping all of those from happening, but sometimes the native population needs some outside help. Pesticide applicators using chemical prod - ucts, such as herbicides or algaecides, have to think about what dosage is going to work in a system without hurting it. While these prod - ucts are not inherently dangerous, careless ap- plication can pose real threats to ecosystems. Fortunately, bacteria are difficult to overapply. Bacterial populations are constantly in tight competition for resources and are in a contin - uous battle with each other. Over time, dif- ferent species will rise and fall due to myriad environmental factors that will benefit or hurt them, and no species can dominate all the oth - ers. is means that a large volume of bacte- ria can be added without harming the greater ecosystem. e new bacteria will simply join the bacteria that are already present in the fight to break down organic matter and chem - icals for sustenance. Adding enzymes Adding enzymes is another way to help aquatic microorganisms. Enzymes function as a catalyst, speeding up chemical processes and increasing the efficiency of reactions. In the case of bacteria, enzymes help by speed - ing up the decomposition process of organic matter. Enzymes can be added by themselves to help bacteria that already live in the water, making their job easier and slowing down the rate of sediment accumulation. Like bacteria, enzymes are difficult to overapply and can be added in large quantities to achieve greater ef - fect. Enzymes are simple proteins and are used up as they react. ey do not have a negative impact on the environment, a bonus for any product being applied to water. e invisible world of fresh water is not given much day-to-day thought. In the same way most people do not think about viruses and harmful bacteria until they make people sick, managers may ignore the microorganisms in freshwater until something goes wrong. ose who do use bacteria and enzymes to manage a freshwater ecosystem should always keep these organisms in mind, and giving na - tive bacteria a boost can be a major step in the treatment process. Patrick Simmsgeiger is president of Diversified Water- scapes Inc. in Laguna Niguel, Calif. Like bacteria, enzymes are difficult to overapply and can be added in large quantities to achieve greater effect. of water in question. However, in this article, a general argument will be made in support of using bacteria and enzymes to support the natural ecology of freshwater systems. Adding bacteria Billions of bacteria reside in benthic sedi- ment. ey are relatively resilient, but certain things can hurt their populations. reats such as dangerously low dissolved oxygen or hazardous chemicals can affect systems to the point that bacteria cannot digest organic mat - ter or handle nutrient loads. When this hap- pens, freshwater systems face a serious threat, and introducing new biological components such as bacteria and enzymes can help dra - matically. How does adding bacteria help? e bac - teria that are normally added are aerobic bac- teria, meaning they need oxygen to survive. ese are relatively fast-acting decomposers that break down organic matter and supple - ment the existing population. eir addition can slow sediment accumulation and prevent potentially harmful buildups of matter. Ex - cessive sediment can be the source of offen- sive odors, cause loss of depth and even be the Adding bacteria and/or enzymes can help maintain a healthy balance of microorganisms in fresh- water ponds. Shutterstock photo

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