AERATION , IRRIGATION & DRAINAGE
Water Supplies for Irrigation
or all groundsmen and
F greenkeepers climate change brings about real issues in maintaining good playing surfaces as we experience periods of drought and exceptionally high temperatures . In West Sussex during summer 2019 , 36 C was experienced at some golf clubs . The cool season type grasses used in the UK were never developed to withstand these temperatures .
So what can you do about it ? Well obviously you need to irrigate to get sufficient water to the grass roots but some of you may not be aware of the advantage of syringing . If you are lucky enough to have an automatic irrigation system then you should find this facility available as one of the programmes . For those not familiar with this practice it involves running the sprinkler system for a short period 2 or 3 minutes – just enough to damp down the grass . The sun then burns off the moisture and in so doing the latent heat factor cools down the grass plant relieving some of the stress .
All of these irrigation applications require the precious resource WATER . Now climate change has not in general reduced the annual rainfall , it just tends to arrive in heavy downpours and thus the dry periods are longer . Much has been said about the water shortage in the UK but quantity is not the issue ; it more about storage and distribution . Water purchased for the Water Company is expensive and subject to restriction just at the time you may need it . So what can you do about it ?
Providing you have sufficient space the construction of an earth bank reservoir is the best line of action . If you can find an area 100m x 80m then you could store 12,000,000litres . Even in a space 75 x 55m you could store 5,900,000litres .
So now you have the storage how do you fill it ? First thing to know is that no licence is needed to abstract 20,000 litres a day from a natural source providing the abstraction does not have a significant impact on the stream flow
or the underground aquifer . This would put 7,300,000 litres into your reservoir per year . Providing the geological strata is suitable you might get a licence to abstract at a higher rate from a suitable borehole . Often the Environment Agency would require the abstraction to be in the winter but that is not a problem if your reservoir is big enough .
Water harvesting can be useful for sports grounds that have large stands with roofs and lots of hard surfaces . Storage is a bigger issue . You can build a completely invisible underground storage system beneath the playing surfaces without the use of concrete .
Nearly all these abstraction and storage situations will require some sort of planning consent as well as careful engineering . You need to engage consulting engineers from whom you should expect to cover all aspects of the project from initial surveys , geological investigation , consultations with the Environment Agency and other agencies for the protection of nature . They should be your consultants , entirely independent of contractors and manufacturers so as to ensure you get the best system at the best possible price .
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10 GroundskeepingJournal . co . uk | Spring 2021