Golf Course Management

JUL 2014

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 42 of 122

38 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 07.14 Clean and green Cleaning golf course equipment used to be as simple as hosing it down in the mainte - nance building parking lot and letting the water drain wherever it could. Aside from leaving a lot of grass and dirt on the parking lot, this practice was feared to result in contamination of nearby bodies of water, and today washing spray equipment without containing the wash water is against the law in most places. Proposed rules for interpreting the Clean Water Act could impact all aspects of equipment washing prac - tices everywhere in the U.S. (see "Land grab," Page 36, in the June 2014 issue of GCM). Golf course operations and superintendents have been fnding solutions to the wash water runoff problem in systems that contain the water and either properly drain it or recycle it for reuse on the wash-down pad. The most so - phisticated of these systems can cost well over $100,000 for equipment and installation, but some carry a more reasonable price tag and oth - ers fall into the DIY category. Ralph J. Kepple, CGCS at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, needed a new way to handle equipment wash-down at the renowned Don - ald Ross-designed venue that is home to the PGA Tour Championship. The wash pad with sump and removable solids collection tank that had been in place at the maintenance fa - cility that was built in 1995 was becoming "ex- tremely high-maintenance," Kepple says. The crew was constantly spending time cleaning de - bris from the drains and tank, and the water was drained off the property rather than being recy - cled. He looked at several systems before fnd- ing a partner in U.K.-based Highspeed Group, which offers the ClearWater wash pad water recycling system. Highspeed Group's director David Mears was looking for a high-profle fa - cility in the U.S. to debut the system and help spread the word. The ClearWater system incorporates specifc microorganisms that break down the contami - nants in the wash water in an underground tank after it has passed through a primary flter and grass trap/sand flter in the wash pad. The water then passes through a series of underground fl - ter and storage steps before it is pumped up as clean water to the aboveground spray guns. "The thing I like about it is it's an extremely simple system," Kepple says. "It doesn't take a lot of maintenance. We just add the biologicals and perform some weekly maintenance." East Lake GC installed its ClearWater sys - tem in August 2013, and after nearly a year of use, Kepple says they expect to have to "vac - uum out" the trapped silt and other non-hazard- ous material that has collected below ground. He cites a couple of additional advantages to the system. First, because the temperature in the underground clean-water storage tank stays con - stant, the system doesn't have to be shut down in winter — only the aboveground hoses have to be detached and re-attached when equip - Bunny Smith twitter: @GCM_Magazine ment has to be washed down. Second, although Kepple hasn't run the exact numbers, the facil - ity has been able to cut back on water usage by recycling its wash water — an important bonus in drought-plagued Georgia. What's your wash-down solution? GCM would like to share your best management prac - tices for equipment washing. With new legal re- quirements and a growing scarcity of water re- sources, this is one issue that won't dry up. Reach out to us via Twitter (@GCM_Magazine) or email at Bunny Smith is GCM 's senior managing editor. The new equipment wash-down system at East Lake GC in Atlanta recycles the water through a simple, underground system. Photo courtesy of Ralph Kepple Presented in Partnership with Aquatrols The crew was constantly spending time cleaning debris from the drains and tank, and the water was drained off the property rather than being recycled. (environment) 038-039_July14_Envirn.indd 38 6/17/14 2:28 PM

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