Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sink Hole

There is one thing that is an absolute in golf course maintenance, expect the unexpected because it is probably going to happen.  On a hole with few problems and after a week of rain, a small hole on the side of the cart path on #13 was noticed.  Only this was no ordinary hole because on further inspection, what was a small hole on the surface was a large cavern underneath.  Needless to say this was not expected.
A view of the sink hole from the surface
The "cavern" underneath.  Still over 3 feet from the top of the pipe.
Like many areas throughout the course, the original steel corrugated drain pipe under the fairway had corroded and deteriorated to the point that the bottom and sides were no longer present.  As a result, a large sink hole had formed causing a serious safety hazard.  We immediately began to replace the pipe but it soon became clear that this project was not one that we could perform safely.
Beginning to remove deteriorated pipe.
Bigger equipment was needed to do the job safely.
Not only was water still coming through what remained of the pipe, it was very deep and the soil around the excavated pipe kept collapsing.  Having a friend in the construction business who had an employee killed due to a trench collapse, I quickly decided that this was not a project to be done in house.  Fortunately, we have a local contractor that we have worked with in the past that was able to come in with bigger equipment and do the job safely for us.
Prepping #13 fairway for sod after pipe replacement.
Sod prep on #13