Common Issues Facing Irrigation Systems for Golf Courses

What Are the Signs to Watch For?

A trained eye looking for signs of trouble can help prevent major issues with golf course irrigation system repairs. A leaking, damaged irrigation system causes dry areas and saturation. Once the golf course becomes a soggy mess or the turf starts drying out, you could have an emergency on your hands! The team at Vanden Bussche Irrigation put together this high-level list to help you determine whether you have a major repair or maintenance problem. 

Does your sprinkler system water the turf uniformly? If your maintenance team has to hand water certain spots, it's important to check the major components. Signs of trouble include:

  • Wet spots/dying turf
  • Dripping valves
  • Water flow issues
  • Higher than expected electricity or diesel fuel bill

Watch for these Signs that Your Golf Course Irrigation System is Failing

Here are a few signs that a golf course irrigation system needs repairs or replacement:

  • Saturation. If there are wet, soggy spots on the course, you may have a leak in the irrigation piping or broken sprinkler heads. Visually inspect portions of the system you can see. If you call an irrigation professional, they may consider digging up a small section of piping to determine the extent of the damage. Problems associated with saturation include root rot, dead patches of turf, and fungal invasion.
  • Dripping valves. A visual inspection can determine whether you have a problem with the water valves, which do not leak or drip when working properly. Grass and dirt can accumulate in the valve, causing leaks or drips. If you notice damp areas around filters or pressure regulators, it's probably time to replace these parts. Have your landscaping team clear out the equipment regularly to prevent malfunctions.
  • Irregular water flow. A leak or clog can cause irregular irrigation. You can troubleshoot this issue by turning on the golf course irrigation system and observing it. Sprinkler coverage should overlap if there is consistent pressure. Additionally, bubbling or gurgling may indicate a leak. Mark trouble spots with a stake or flag to troubleshoot later and inform your golf course irrigation maintenance crew when they arrive.


Why Timely Irrigation System Repairs and Maintenance Matter

Making necessary repairs to pump stations or golf rotors can prevent problems with water regulation. Replacing nozzles, valvesfittings, and sprinkler heads can help prevent debris from entering the pipe system, causing clogs, cracks, and permanent damage. Catching maintenance and repair problems early can save you money down the road and increase the useful life of your turf irrigation system. Plus, it’s an essential step towards keeping the turf healthy and attractive to golfers.

When to Replace or Upgrade Your Golf Course Irrigation System

As a golf course superintendent or manager, you may notice that irrigation repairs and damage are starting to eat up the majority of your budget. If your irrigation system is more than 20 years old and is failing to maintain the turf properly, it may be time for major upgrades or replacement. 

Our team at Vanden Bussche is experienced in the design and installation of golf course irrigation systems in Ontario. Talk to us about your irrigation needs today, and let us help you. Call any of our locations across Ontario or contact us online.