Thursday, February 26, 2015

February 25, 2015

Earlier this February, Eastern Irrigation began work to replace the irrigation pumps at the pump house because our wet well system was failing. Unfortunately, the record cold weather forced a temporary stop to the project, yet since we began this project so early, we should have no problem getting it finished long before the season begins.

The wet well was built beneath the pump house in 1986 when the present irrigation system was installed.  The wet well is simply a deep cylinder made of galvanized steel, with an intake pipe leading into it from the center of the pond. The pumps, located in the pump house, extend vertically down into the wet well and pump the water into the irrigation piping. Simply, water was pulled through the intake from the pond into the wet well, and pumped out.

Over the years the galvanized steel began to rust and parts of the intake pipe disintegrated and the walls of the wet well became structurally unsound. Divers were brought in to assess the severity of the damage and to give us an idea of how much longer we had before the risk of failure became too great. If either the intake pipe or wet well failed, we would no longer be able to pump water, and we did not want to take any unnecessary chances. If it failed in the middle of the season, we’d be without water when we needed it the most.

The dive took place last winter and it was determined that the chance of failure was too great to risk for much longer. We immediately began to research solutions. The solutions were to rebuild the entire wet well which meant demolishing the pump house and starting from scratch, attempt to insert a liner into the intake pipe and wet well which would only be temporary and also reduce the volume of water that could be pulled from the pond, or bypass the wet well altogether and install new submersible pumps in the pond directly piped to the pressure controls in the pump house. We spent the last year evaluating the three different options, talking with officials from clubs who had faced these same decisions, and visited a course that recently had the submersible system installed.  Our research led us to decide that installing the submersible system was the best option for us.

Prior to arriving here to install the new submersible system, Eastern Irrigation assembled the main components at their shop in Glenmoore, PA. When the site work is done and modifications to the pump house for the pipe connections are completed, the assembled components – pumps, motors, wiring, etc – will be put together and installed.  The system will then be thoroughly tested to ensure good workmanship and that the pumping specifications are met.

The irrigation system is integral to the golf course and if it were to fail the golf course would suffer considerable damage in a very short period of time. The club’s management acted proactively and invested a considerable amount of funds into this system to prevent a wet well failure, insuring that we will be able to pump water for very long time to come.

New submersible pumps, motors in crates.

Tubes and piping.

Preparations inside the pump house.

Piping to the pond.