Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Leveling Irrigation Heads

One of the major projects we have this winter is the leveling of irrigation heads throughout the golf course.  While this is not a flashy project, it is essential to the efficiency and effectiveness of the irrigation system, and with the recent drought, a high priority.
Irrigation head in need of leveling.
Irrigation head must be dug up being cautious of wires.
Irrigation heads are made to move in the soil.  This is so that the underlying pipe does not break when equipment runs over them and to allow for movement amid freeze-thaw events during the winter. Over time, the heads get out of level, get pushed too far into the soil, or the turf grows up around them causing them not to perform as originally intended.  As a result it is necessary to dig them up and level them.
Using a jig, the head is leveled to the surrounding surface.

After using this jig, the head will be fine tuned with a bubble level.
With over 600 irrigation heads to level, this is a time consuming project.  On average it takes about an hour and a half to level one head.  Each head needs to be dug up, raised, and leveled with special attention as to not cut wires or damage pipe.  During the process, new soil is added and compacted so that head will stay in the correct spot.  Lastly the sod is put back and carefully leveled.
Finished product.
While this is a time consuming project, it is one that will reap rewards for years to come.