Golf Course Management

APR 2019

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

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88 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 04.19 components to be purchased at a local hard- ware store, for a total cost of about one-tenth of what Slattery likely would have paid a con - tractor. e system's primary component is a slow-sand filtration tank, which was famil - iar to engineers at the University of Buffalo (another cooperator joining the effort). e Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Buffalo also provided graduate student research assistants who used the proj - ect as part of their degree completion. e system is set up so that water used to wash the equipment passes through the sand- filtration system and flows to a tank, where it is held until it is reused for equipment wash - ing. is system has reduced Locust Hill's reliance on municipal water for equipment washing from 30,000 gallons to 3,000 gallons per month. Slattery's initiative and resolve to make his equipment wash pad more environmentally compatible has attracted plenty of attention. He has been contacted by golf courses, car washes, and others who manage grey water in New York and, more recently, other parts of the country to gather ideas for their facilities. Slattery says he's most proud of how many entities got involved in the effort — Locust Hill Country Club, Audubon International, the New York Green Business Program, the Rochester Institute of Technology, the Uni - versity of Buffalo and the New York State Turfgrass Association. In short, filling an en - vironmental "gap" at Locust Hill resulted in a cooperative effort that not only improved the golf course, but ultimately helped solve similar quandaries at golf courses and other facilities in New York and outside the state. And, in the process of solving a wash pad problem, these efforts also offered a project to students that ultimately helped advance their education. Slattery's initiative to do something the right way led to nothing but environmental and or - ganizational positives. If you'd like to contact Rick for more spe - cifics about his efforts on the wash pad de- sign and installation, you can contact him at Jack Fry, Ph.D., is a professor of turfgrass science at Kansas State University, currently working at the school's Research and Extension Center in Olathe, Kan. He is a 22-year educator member of GCSAA. A low-cost, self-contained wash pad solution Jack Fry, Ph.D. (what's the big idea?) Rick Slattery, the golf course superinten- dent at Locust Hill Country Club in Pitts- ford, N.Y., used to wash off his equipment like many of us — he had a wash pad with a drain that flowed into a septic tank. Over the years, he noticed that a lot of water was used during the washing process. In addition, he had occasionally noticed a foul odor when he wandered into a nearby forested area where the septic drains were directed. e 34-year GCSAA member hadn't viewed either of these issues as worthy of an expensive upgrade, but he reconsidered the issue after the wash pad at Locust Hill found itself in an environmental spotlight. After a required visit, Audubon Interna - tional recommended that Slattery consider in- stallation of a self-contained equipment wash system that captures and recycles waste water. His first concern at the suggestion was cost — he knew some of these stations could run more than $50,000, which just wasn't realistic at Locust Hill at that time. Still, Slattery liked the idea of a self-contained system. He started thinking about options, and that thinking led to some creative engineering. Slattery reached out to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, which directed him to the New York Green Business program. at group manages the Pollution Prevention Institute at the Rochester Institute of Technology, an effort that provides recognition and incentives for businesses and other entities to make advances in sustainable practices. at's right — a government entity that exists to provide funding and assistance for environment-related initiatives, not to look for mistakes and apply fines. It was a perfect match. e Rochester Institute of Technology stepped up to provide funding for research to develop a low-cost, self-contained equipment washing station. e first change that was made was to use air pressure to blow clippings off of the equip - ment in a nearby vegetated area. is step alone was found to reduce water use by 50 per - cent compared to what Locust Hill had been using previously. Next, Slattery began using different noz - zles to wash the equipment, which resulted in almost another 10 percent reduction in water use. e self-contained wash pad prototype first evaluated in 2017 allowed for most of its Filling an environmental "gap" at Locust Hill resulted in a cooperative effort that not only improved the golf course, but ultimately helped solve similar quandaries at golf courses and other facilities in New York and outside the state.

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