Golf Course Management

SEP 2013

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

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THE INSIDER: environment The new turf and ornamental planter at GCSAA headquarters becomes a test for the national stormwater calculator. Photo by Roger Billings NEWS & notes GCM tested the EPA's National Stormwater Calculator by plugging in the address for GCSAA headquarters in Lawrence, Kan. The application downloaded smoothly, and navigation was intuitive. GCSAA recently implemented a number of improvements to the facility, including total reconstruction of a multi-level patio area behind the building to incorporate a large ornamental/turf planting area enclosed on the downslope end with a low stone seat wall (pictured above). This project fairly closely matched the calculator's description for "Street Planters" under the Low Impact Development tab. According to the calculator, the new planter at GCSAA has plenty of potential of preventing runoff from the surrounding concrete patio: Given the site's local soil characteristics and historical climate, as well as a soil media thickness of 18 inches and a gravel bed thickness of 12 inches, the planter offers a runoff capture ratio of 6 percent. This type of information could be an important element in a golf facility's communication with members regarding proposed improvements to the property. Presented in partnership with Aquatrols 36 GCM September 2013 Calculating runoff: No more guessing games How do your facility's efforts to manage stormwater runoff (and its potential to pollute local waterways) add up? It's easy to fnd out, thanks to a new desktop computer application released this past summer by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Part of the Obama administration's Climate Action Plan, the National Stormwater Calculator has been included in a virtual climate resilience toolkit to help property owners, site developers, urban planners and green industry professionals make informed land-use decisions. The application estimates the annual amount of stormwater runoff from a specifc site, based on local soil conditions, slope, land cover and historical rainfall records. Users can enter any U.S. location and select different scenarios to learn how specifc green infrastructure changes, including inexpensive changes like rain barrels and rain gardens, can prevent pollution. Golf course superintendents might also try calculating the amount of runoff that could be prevented through implementation of several other types of low impact development (LID) controls such as green roofs, ornamental planters and porous pavement. "EPA's research is providing innovative solutions to protect our nation's water resources," says Lek Kadeli, principal deputy assistant administrator for EPA's Offce of Research and Development. "The stormwater calculator demonstrates different types of green infrastructure approaches which can result in protection from fooding, energy savings, improved air quality, increased property values, healthier communi- ties and cost savings for the American people." Every year, billions of gallons of raw sewage, trash household chemicals and urban runoff fow into U.S. streams, rivers and lakes. This adversely affects plants, animals and people as well as the economy — from closed beaches to decreased fshing and hunting in polluted areas. The EPA cautions that the estimates used by the stormwater calculator can be affected by limitations on site-specifc information and uncertainties about future climate, and recommends that superintendents and others develop a range of results using various assumptions about model inputs (impervious surface, soil type, sizing of green infrastructure, etc.). An update to the stormwater calculator, which will include the ability to link to several future climate scenarios, will be released by the end of 2013. Climate projections indicate that heavy precipitation events are very likely to become more frequent as the climate changes. For additional information, including instructions on how to install the stormwater calculator on your computer, check the following: • National Stormwater Calculator: www.epa. gov/nrmrl/wswrd/wq/models/swc/ • Virtual climate resilience toolkit: www.white house.gov/sites/default/fles/image/ president27sclimateactionplan.pdf • EPA's Green Infrastructure research: http:// water.epa.gov/infrastructure/greeninfrastruc ture/index.cfm • Demonstration video: www.youtube.com/ watch?v=ibZTm4_ZQxg&feature=youtu.be

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