Monday, August 20, 2012

Irrigation Pump Issues

Since July 22nd we have been operating the irrigation system with only 36% of our total capable capacity. The pump on Well #1 quit working and we have been forced to rely solely on our secondary pump (thankfully we have a second well). The reason for the broken pump is yet to be determined. In fact today the well company was finally able to extract the pump. We do know that the main shaft broke and this caused the pump to fall to a depth of 316ft down the well casing. We know the exact depth since we had to have a company investigate the casing with a camera so we could determine if the pump was still in the well and if so what its condition was.

 Once the pipe column was located McCarthy Well had to fabricate a jig to fish for the column so the pump could be retrieved. Success happened last week and after a few days of removing the column pipes, 10 ft at a time, the pump was finally removed today. Most of the shaft, rubber gaskets and spiders were all destroyed. At this time we do not know what is repairable and if replacing with a new pump will be necessary. The entire process has been quite slow and thankfully we have had a break in the weather as well as a few rain events to help us manage our irrigation needs.


 Camera being lowered down the well casing
View from the camera inside the truck  

 The loss of our main pump for an extended period is an excellent example of why we want to encourage creeping bentgrass as our main sward of fine turf. We also want to encourage deep rooting plants that are not conditioned to require water on a nightly basis. We typically water our fine playing surfaces deep and infrequent to encourage deeper more healthy roots. Something we have been very successful at on our tees and fairways. With our current pump situation we are limited to how much water can be applied at night and are forced to make light infrequent applications. Not something we encourage but are forced to do out of necessity. Thankfully this is a temporary (although we don't know for how long) adjustment to our maintenance practices and once the pump is up and running we will return to our deep and infrequent philosophy for irrigating fairways and tees. 

Fabricated jig built to fish the pipe column that was resting at 316ft.

Success.  This Vertical Turbine Pump has 7 bowls and has the ability to pump 900gpm when its completely maxed but we only run it at 700 gpm.  McCarthy Well will now take the pump back to their shop to inspect and determine what the next course of action will be.  


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