23 Nov Water Quality Counts
Though the bodies of water across a golf course are beautiful to look at, most golfers try to avoid them at all costs. For Superintendents, they are something they definitely can NOT avoid. They are an aspect of the course that requires constant attention, care and maintenance—ensuring that the water is clean and the quality high. The struggle lies in that it’s not easy or cheap to accomplish this, but it’s unavoidable.
Importance of Clean Water on the Course
It’s important to have clean water on your golf course. First and foremost, courses have safety standards and guidelines that they have to meet, established in part by the Clean Water Act and regulated by state and federal agencies. The rules must be followed and the requirements met, otherwise courses risk penalties and daily fines.
But more importantly, it’s the course’s responsibility to keep it clean for the community and the environment. It will ensure that the community around your course has clean water, plus it will protect the animals and plants in the area that rely on that water.
How to Protect Your Course’s Water Quality
Having clean water starts not with the water, but with your turf. The course turf surrounds the water and therefore they rely and affect one another. But if you take proper care of your turf, that will in turn help your water. Here’s how: Start by ensuring your turf is healthy, which would include monitoring watering so as not to overwater, careful application of fertilizer (applying them in safe amounts, timing them accurately and limiting or not applying them to areas adjacent to water bodies), and applying plant protectants. The turf and grasses surrounding your water bodies hold in the majority of nutrients they get from the fertilizers and rainwater, and therefore, it makes runoff minimal and protects the nearby water.
There are a few additional ways you can protect your course water:
- Keep the grass around the greens, fairways and water bodies longer. They will act as a buffer and filter, catching nutrients, sediment and pesticides before they hit the water. Doing so can also help with soil erosion prevention–another aspect that can hurt your water quality.
- During irrigation and heavy rainfall, aeration and other soil techniques can also help minimize runoff and water infiltration.
- Make sure all chemicals are stored and disposed of safely. Also make sure to clean your equipment properly and away from your water sources.
- Take a look at your irrigation system. Most systems today are designed to reduce runoff and to effectively use water.
Do You Have a Water Issue?
It’s important to have your water tested, the results analyzed, and an action plan put in place. You need to also know how the water on your course impacts the surrounding area. Soil & Water Consulting can help you with your water analysis. As a Brookside Labs partner, we take their lab results, and will work with you on next steps.