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  • Terravita Agronomy

#9 Mainline Repair

In light of the recent irrigation repair on number 9, I’d like to share an update and what you should expect going forwards.

What happened? For those who missed last weeks Terravita Report, a mainline isolation valve began leaking last Thursday. After 4 days of excavating, we discovered the source of the leak and it was repaired. Unfortunately, buried about 8 feet away was an additional problem, that wasn’t uncovered until the pipes were back under pressure. Fast forward to yesterday, we were able to repair the original leak, replace the additional problem. And as of 8 o’clock this morning we had water back to the golf course.

Why did this take so long to complete? First, we had to let all the pipes on the golf course drain of water, this took about 12 hours. Second, digging through Arizona soils is no simple task. With the assistance of an excavator and 2 guys on pick axes, we were able to break through the layers of caliche and access the pipe. As we got closer to the pipe, we were no long able to use the large excavator, as hundreds of sprinkler head wires, central control communication wires, and power cables run along the pipe. From here we dug by hand. The next challenge was sourcing replacement parts. 12 inch pipe and fittings are so large, that most businesses are unable to keep these parts on the shelves. Luckily, with help from other superintendents in the Troon family, we were able to source the parts we needed from various courses.

Why was there standing water on some greens yesterday? Because the golf course was without an irrigation system for more than a week, we rented a 500 gallon pull behind tank to water the greens by hand. This is obviously not an efficient way to water greens, but we were left with no option.

What should we expect going forward? In the short term, expect some discoloration of the greens. These are dry spots, but they will recover quickly. Also in the short term, expect softer conditions, and some water in bunkers. We will be watering heavy through the weekend to “catch up”. In the long term, it can be expected that repairs like this will become more common. With our aging infrastructure, it’s only a matter of time before more mainline junctions fail.

I appreciate everyone’s patience with us through this time. Have a great weekend Terravita!

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