Category Archives: Independent Irrigation Consulting

Nikanti Golf Club, in Nakhon Pathom just outside of Bangkok has commenced a comprehensive upgrade to the original irrigation system.

Nikanti Irrigation System Upgrade Installation Commences

Nikanti Golf Club, in Nakhon Pathom just outside of Bangkok has commenced a comprehensive upgrade to the original irrigation system. The original system was not designed to a high standard. As a result the system was not performing to a level that allowed the maintenance staff to prepare the course to the high standards required by the ownership. The current irrigation renovations include:

  • Complete new Toro greens in and out part circle sprinklers as well as surrounds sprinklers along the turf perimeter located along the sides and rear of the green throwing back to the green.
  • Additional decoders to allow for individual sprinkler control of all sprinklers on the course.
  • Supplemental mainlines to provide complete looping and to significantly reduce the total irrigation watering time and reduce pressure loss.
  • New pump station with significantly higher flow capacity to greatly reduce the total irrigation watering time as well.

The installation is being performed by J & J Thailand under the supervision Somchai Chokchalermwong – J & J Irrigation Manager, James Schumacher – President of ATI, Hamish McKendrick – Agronomy Consultant and Brad Revell – Golf Course Superintendent. The piping around the greens is being installed with great care as to not interfere with play or the golf experience. This allows for play to continue on the course while the work is ongoing.

Nikanti Golf Club, in Nakhon Pathom just outside of Bangkok has commenced a comprehensive upgrade to the original irrigation system.

Kuhn Nueng– Nikanti Irrigation Technician, James Schumacher – President of ATI , Somchai hokchalermwong – J & J Irrigation Manager, (L to R)

Completed Piping and Sod Installation

Completed Piping and Sod Installation

 

James Schumacher, President of ATI prepared the irrigation consulting and design for the project. He is also providing the all-important sprinkler layout around the greens, inspecting the work of the contractor and programming the new system into the computer.

 

James Schumacher, President of ATI supervising the all-important sprinkler layout around the greens. inspecting the work of the contractor and programming the new system into the computer.

James Schumacher, President of ATI supervising the all-important sprinkler layout around the greens.

The initial greens irrigation sprinkler locations and coverage were very poor. The new sprinkler spacing will provide complete and even coverage of the greens and surrounds enhancing the golf experience. If the sprinkler locations and spacing are not correct they can have an extremely negative effect on the turf and playability of the course. This normally causes overwatering of the approaches and surrounds. The result is that the ball cannot bounce roll onto the green making approach shots and chipping difficult and unenjoyably. ATI provides the complete layout of the green and surround sprinklers as well as inspection of the work. The work is being installed to a high level with little damage to the turf.

Revised Green Only Part Circle Irrigation

Revised Green Only Part Circle Irrigation

The increased pump station and mainline capacity will reduce the total irrigation time so irrigation can be completed well before play and maintenance commence in the morning. This will greatly improve the golfers experience since they can play when the course is drier. The shorter total irrigation time and drier conditions will also reduce compaction of the soil from the mowing equipment and carts in the morning.

The system features a Toro Lynx GDC off – fairway decoder control system with individual control of each sprinkler. The new 681m3 per hour pump station is manufactured by Watertronics. The pump station is sized to service a possible future (6) hole addition. One of the features of Nikanti is that the course is routed in 3 groups of 6-holes rather than the traditional 2 sides of 9-holes.

The work is scheduled to be completed by the end of March 2016.

Laem Chabang International Country Club in Chonburi, Thailand

Laem Chabang International Country Club System Analysis and Long Range Planning

James Schumacher, President of ATI, recently visited Laem Chabang International Country Club in Chonburi, Thailand outside Bangkok to perform a System Analysis. Laem Chabang International Country Club is a 22 year old 27-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Design. Even though the club is still one of the most popular courses in the area, they are wisely still looking for ways to improve the quality of the golf course and the operating efficiency at the same time. The System Analysis was needed to evaluate how the current system affects the turf and course playability whilst identifying any operational inefficiencies. After the System Analysis is complete a Long Range Plan can then be defined and budgets established.   The irrigation system, even though well designed for the time, is becoming a limiting factor to the turf maintenance program and wasteful in a few critical areas such as water power and labor. There have been many significant changes in irrigation technology over the last 22 years such as variable frequency drive VFD pump stations and control system enhancements that were not on the market at the time. The System Analysis and Long Range Plan will identify the weaknesses in the system and offer recommendations for improvements. Sean Quinn from Nicklaus Design will be making a visit to the course in the near future to advise on any course design issues that need to be addressed as well.

Laem Chabang International Country Club in Chonburi, Thailand

Laem Chabang International Country Club in Chonburi, Thailand.

During the site analysis, the entire system was inspected and the following criteria evaluated:

  • Water Sources Water Quality and Availability
  • Water Storage and Irrigation Requirements
  • Pump Stations
  • Pipe, Fittings and Valves
  • Sprinklers and Coverage
  • Control System and Wiring
  • Desired Standards of Operation
  • Original Installation
  • Maintenance Procedures and History
  • System Performance, Reliability and Limitations
  • Turf Needs and Soil Conditions

Laem Chabang International Country Club has engaged the services of Mr. Hamish McKendrick to advise the course on their turf maintenance and general operations. He has been extremely valuable in guiding the course to a position to enhance its competitiveness with the new courses built since the club was established in 1994. He quickly realized that irrigation may be limiting and contacted ATI to provide the necessary irrigation analysis, consulting and design.

Survey Method Staking

Aqua Turf International utilizes a new and improved sprinkler system layout method that insures the best and most efficient sprinkler layout done that can be accomplished in an expeditious manner by making optimal use of the personnel and equipment already available on site . The process has been very successfully implemented on projects in the US, Bulgaria, Bahamas, China, Brazil, Egypt, Morocco, Russia and around the world.

Simply stated, the process is as follows:

  1. After shaping is approval and grass lines have been marked by the architect, the Contractor will coordinate the surveying of all the features necessary for the process such as the grass lines and perimeter of the greens , tees, bunkers, water features and cart paths. The dwg file is then provided to ATI either while on site or via email depending on the site schedule and services contracted.
  2. ATI will then re-layout the sprinkler and satellite locations in the computer and return the “As-Staked” drawing to the Contractor. The “As-Staked” drawing then becomes the foundation for the “as-built” drawing. At the same time ATI also prepares a sprinkler tracking sheet showing any add and deducts in the sprinkler quantity of each hole. This number is mostly influenced by the actual grass lines, shapes and locations of features. Some holes tend to get a little bigger and some a little smaller based on the architects important field changes to the golf course design.
  3. Prior to an ATI visit, the contractor will layout the   “As-Staked” drawing and stake the locations of the sprinklers and satellites from our “As-Staked” drawing. Our site visits should be scheduled if possible to coincide with this process. If the project is on a fast track this method allows the Contractor to continue if needed without a site visit if time is of the essence. Once the site personnel are experienced in the process it is very easily implemented.Survey Method Staking
  4. During the site visit ATI will check the staking and make field adjustments as necessary. Adjustments are typically minimal leaving more time for the important tasks of inspection and plan interpretation.
  5. After the staking is finalized, any changes should then be re-surveyed. The stakes can remain until installation or pulled and resurveyed later if they are in the way and installation may not happen soon.
  6. As soon as possible after the site visit ATI will email the updated “As-Staked” drawing to include station numbering and ID’s. If a decoder system is used this allows for prompt programming of the computer which is critical. Additionally a Sprinkler Tracking Spreadsheet is supplied to account for any differences between the design and as-staked quantities.

Survey Method Staking is a more productive and efficient method when compared to the traditional tape method. Survey Method Staking allows ATI to totally redesign the system by using the computer which allows us to more efficiently layout the sprinklers than with tapes. Using the computer can allow for several variations to be tried until the best sprinkler layout is determined. This is not realistic to expect with tapes in the field. The method is especially beneficial on hard-line type systems since the triangular grid can be rotated in the computer to best align along the longest straight grass line. In this fashion fewer sprinklers are required since the most sprinklers are along the grass line requiring less backup part circle sprinklers. This would be impossible to do as efficiently with tapes in the field.

Step 1_Survey_Example

Step 1 Survey Example – Contractor provides to ATI

Step 2_As-staked_layout_Example

Step 2 As-Staked Layout – ATI provides to Contractor to layout with the same survey equipment.

Step 3_Final_as-staked_Example

Step 3 Final As-staked – ATI provides to Contractor for installation.

Step  4_Spk Tracking Sheet_001

Step 4 Sprinkler Tracking Spreadsheet – ATI provides to Contractor after inspection.

As-Built Drawing and Programming then follow.

 Survey Method Staking produces the best possible sprinkler layout because:

  • The view from above the hole in AutoCAD takes the guess work out of staking.
  • We can set the baseline and rotate the triangular grid as needed to fit any hard-line edges reducing the amount of backup sprinklers on a hard-line system. This results in the fewest number and most beneficial placement of sprinklers.
  • Eliminates the inherent distortion and human error of dragging tapes or ropes across fairways and over mounds sometimes in high wind.
  • Often the construction is incomplete when layout is needed such as drainage so portions of the hole cannot be accessed with tapes.
  • Much less weather dependent.
  • The contractor immediately has an accurate as-staked plan to work from and the grass lines supplied by the architect in the field are immediately archived.
  • A solid foundation is laid for the construction record drawing.
  • Flags that get knocked out during drainage installation or from shaping adjustments can easily be surveyed back in the original location.
  • More flexible in regards to the schedule and site visits since holes can be done individually if needed. Also, if design changes are made after staking, a new layout can be done easily by repeating this process for just that hole.
  • No need to stake holes far in advance of installation since the process can be done remotely if needed. However, ideally Survey Method Staking is done in conjunction with ATI site visits.
  • Time during visits can be better spent on inspection and plan interpretation than pulling tapes!

Getting everyone off to a good start with and understanding of the process is helpful. For Survey Method Staking to work best it is essential that all features including greens well, bunker edges, tee tops, water features, cart paths and grass lines are surveyed new and nothing from the architects original design copied or referenced in. It is also important that the accurate inside edge of the cart path be properly identified. Sprinklers along the cart paths should always be installed last in any regard to insure they are properly aligned along the edge of the path as the final cart path edges are nearly impossible to define prior to their construction.

There may come a time when only one or two holes are ready to stake and the time and cost doesn’t justify a site visit from ATI. In this case, the same procedure will work; ATI just might not get a chance to field approve prior to installation. However, by that time in the project a good working relationship with the Irrigation Supervisor and Site Coordinator should be formed and all parties can work together to make any minor field adjustments.

The number of ATI site visits can be tailored to the needs of the project. ATI visits should include a pre-construction meeting and the final walk through. At a minimum four visits for inspection should be allotted.   Of course additional trips can be made as approved. Each staking trip will include inspection of the work performed a site report and an update of the sprinkler tracking spreadsheet. Also, the contractor should provide the as-built field notes of each hole with the station numbers and pipe routings as soon as the irrigation on the hole is completed so ATI can prepare the final construction record drawing (As-Built) drawing. This allows for timely programming of the irrigation computer which can be beneficial for a speedy grow-in. This is especially important for decoder systems that are 100% reliant on the central computer to operate.

Please note that various flag colors are required to represent different irrigation components. This will prevent rouge flags being installed as sprinklers. There are many flags on a construction site and the irrigation flags should be unique, easily identifiable and a separate color used for each model and nozzle size. The grass lines should be painted in a distinctive color paint or a different color flag than used for irrigation flags.

Consider Survey Method Staking by ATI for your next project.

Royal Calcutta Golf Club System Analysis

James Schumacher, President of Aqua Turf International, Inc. (ATI) recently visited Royal Calcutta Golf Club in Kolkata, India to perform a System Analysis and prepare a Long Range Improvement plan. Founded in 1829, Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC), affectionately known as the “Royal”, is the oldest golf club outside the British Isles, the oldest being the Royal and Ancient, St. Andrews in Scotland, the home of golf. Originally located near the Calcutta airport, the club moved to its present location at Tollygunge in 1910. The Royal’s conspicuous features are its strategically located water tanks natural water hazards and beautifully tree lined fairways. The club has approximately 2,000 Members, 1,100 of those are golfers of which 700 are considered active players.

The irrigation system is antiquated and has become a limiting factor to the turf maintenance program. The golf course operations are managed by Quality Turf international of Bangkok, Thailand (http://www.qualitygolfasia.com/) who was instrumental in leading the club to hire an independent analysis of the status of the irrigation system. ATI has been contracted to evaluate the system and make recommendations for improvements.

During the site analysis, the entire system was inspected and the following criteria evaluated:

  • Water Sources Water Quality and Availability
  • Water Storage and Irrigation Requirements
  • Pump Station
  • Pipe, Fittings and Valves
  • Sprinklers and Coverage
  • Control System and Wiring
  • Desired Standards of Operation
  • Original Installation
  • Maintenance Procedures and History
  • System Performance, Reliability and Limitations
  • Turf Needs and Soil Conditions

While on site Mr. Schumacher was assisted by Mr. Tim Denham, Golf Course Superintendent, along with Mr. Nikhil Sanwal, Assistant to the Golf Course Superintendent.

Royal Calcutta Golf Club is anxious to host prestigious tournaments in the near future. Bringing the irrigation system up to standard with the help of ATI and Quality Golf International will be very helpful in achieving that lofty goal.

Royal Calcutta Golf Club System Analysis

James Schumacher, President of Aqua Turf International, Inc. (ATI) with Mr. Tim Denham, Golf Course Superintendent.

Royal Calcutta Golf Club System Analysis

James Schumacher, President of Aqua Turf International, Inc. (ATI) with Nikhil Sanwal, Assistant to the Golf Course Superintendent.

Harbour Plaza Golf Club – System Analysis

Harbour Plaza Golf Club in Dongguan

James Schumacher, President of ATI, recently visited Harbour Plaza Golf Club in Dongguan, China in order to perform a System Analysis. Harbour Plaza is a 20 year old 27-hole championship facility designed, shaped and constructed by Robert Trent Jones II. The irrigation system is becoming a limiting factor to the facility. ATI has been contracted to evaluate the system and make recommendations for improvements.

During the site analysis, the entire system was inspected and the following criteria evaluated:

  • Water Sources Water Quality and Availability
  • Water Storage and Irrigation Requirements
  • Pump Station
  • Pipe, Fittings and Valves
  • Sprinklers and Coverage
  • Control System and Wiring
  • Desired Standards of Operation
  • Original Installation
  • Maintenance Procedures and History
  • System Performance, Reliability and Limitations
  • Turf Needs and Soil Conditions.

In addition to the System Analysis Mr. Schumacher had the pleasure of joining Mr. Tim Shaver, General Manager, along with Ron Carlyle, Turf Consultant and the entire staff at their annual appreciation dinner.

Tim-Jim-Ron_opt

Why Hire an Independent Irrigaton Designer?

Why Hire a Professional Independent Irrigation Designer?

All irrigation systems no matter where they are for commercials landscapes, athletic fields, golf courses or other applications require a design. The design is the fundamental building block for whether the system will meet the needs of the project. Designs are typically provided by:

  1. Professional Independent Irrigation Designers
  2. Irrigation Material Distributors or Manufacturers
  3. Installers

A Professional Independent Irrigation Designer is a specialist that:

  • Performs impartially in the best interest of the CLIENT since he has no proprietary interest in the products that he specifies. A distributor or installer could design the system to be the least expensive in order to gain the sales rather than design a system that meets the long-term needs of the client that all suppliers can bid fairly insuring the right system at the best price.
  • Assists the CLIENT in system evaluation, design standards, justification, budget development, coordinates with the architect and can assist in implementation.
  • Provide years of experience and training
  • Provides efficient irrigation design and planning to develop accurate long-range plans, budget amounts, designs and specifications to meet the needs of the CLIENT.
  • Generates professional design based on the site requirements, agronomic needs, maintenance practices and economic efficiency.
  • Ensures a competitive and fair bid that will give the CLIENT a choice of products to fulfill his needs.  If plans are provided by multiple suppliers or distributors or installers then it is very difficult to compare the various and different plans.  Also, inaccurate quantities could be provided in order to gain the sale.
  • Can provides Professional Design Liability Insurance.
  • Can adapt to budgetary constraints and still design a system with integrity and expandability.
  • Provides field layout and construction administration to protect the CLIENT’S investment by ensuring the system and materials are installed as designed and specified.
  • Prepares exact records of installed equipment to insure accuracy and track the installation budget.  (GPS/CAD generated as-staked/built drawings).
  • Monitors and inspects irrigation installation for Quality Assurance to insure the supplier and contractor are installing the system as designed, specified and bid.

All these factors are keys to a long-lasting and efficient system. Independent ensure that you realize the maximum return on the significant investment in your new system. Independent designs are not expensive, especially when compared to the size of the investment.  Your investment that is a minimal percentage of the total irrigation project cost will ensure the quality you must have when the job is complete. The savings in a competitive bid, time, long-term efficiency and extended life of the system will more than offset the cost of these services.

Aqua Turf International Inc