Saturday, March 28, 2009

Water Quality

Now that more than a foot of fresh snow has fallen on the golf course many of the areas that were struggling, will be renewed with the fresh clean water content found in the snow. The golf course uses Effluent water for irrigation purposes which is environmentally responsible, but from a healthy soil and turf standpoint it leaves a lot to be desired.

We are constantly fighting the additional inputs that come along with the Effluent water such as ; Bicarbonates, Chlorides and Sodium. These three elements have over time destroyed the structure of the soil found on the golf course. Prior to the use of Effluent water the soils were very good and provided little problems in the way of poor drainage and less than ideal grown conditions for high quality turf. After nearly nineteen years of using Effluent water the soils now closely match the analysis found in the water.

Each year we test our soils and water, so that we can make the appropriate adjustments with various soil amendments to offset the negative qualities associated with the water. In any growing season we will add well over 500 lbs of Sodium per acre alone just from watering. As you can see that is a tremendous obstacle to over come every year in order to provide a high quality playing surface.

To show the dramatic differences in water quality, below you will find a chart that shows desirable ranges in water quality suitable for irrigation purposes. I have also taken the liberty to test the content of water found in snow and it clearly shows how clean and pure the natural precipitation can be. It is no wonder why the golf course reacts so positively to any natural precipitation.

Desired Range

Bicarbonates less than 120 ppm(parts per million)
Chlorides less than 140 ppm(parts per million)
Sodium 0- 50 ppm

Effluent Water

Bicarbonates 161.26 ppm(parts per million)
Chlorides 63.15 ppm(parts per million)
Sodium 73.09 ppm(parts per million)


Bicarbonates 19.68 ppm(parts per million)
Chlorides 1.0 ppm(parts per million)
Sodium 3.1 ppm(parts per million)