August 31, 2011

Permanent System Connection

Today the connection between the new irrigation system and the pump station was completed. The photo to the left show the existing mainline located in the center of number one fairway. Flow comes from the bottom of the photo and the "T" sends water in both directions in a loop around the course. We were all very surprised to find that there was no concrete poured as a thrust block which is intended to prevent movement of the pipe. Often, anywhere from five to ten yards of concrete is poured to stabilize the joint and prevent failure. In this case only a series of cinder blocks were used. Although this did make our work easier, it was concerning that this is the approach that was used on one of the most crucial fittings on the entire system.

After the "T" was cut out we noticed how poorly that the mainline lined up going into the fitting as shown on the right. Note the different angles of each pipe. This severe angle created a higher risk of failure. Based on all the factors, we believe it was nothing more than luck that kept this joint from failing and causing a potentially catastrophic situation.

With the final connection made, the old system is no longer pressurized and officially abandoned. The last of the installation on the course should be completed on number one this week and the driving range done by the end of next week bring the project to an end. The entire project team is looking forward to completion.