|COMPUTERIZED IRRIGATION SYSTEM FOR THE U-M GOLF COURSE|
The University of Michigan Golf Course installed a computerized irrigation system in 1992 to help conserve water, while maintaining the correct amount of moisture in the soil to ensure optimum turf growing conditions. By monitoring environmental and agronomic conditions at various points on the golf course, the system can adjust how much water is needed at each sprinkler head location. In addition, weather satellite stations communicate with the system to prevent watering if rainfall has occurred or is imminent.
State of Michigan Act 451 Part 327.
Overview of Procedure
The satellite stations monitor precipitation rates, infiltration rates, wind speed, transpiration (the process by which the plant cools itself and removes waste products from the plant tissue), and other environmental conditions. The information is relayed back to the central computer, which operates the individual sprinkler heads on the golf course. The computer will calculate appropriate water needs based on the weather input and pre-programmed data. Each sprinkler head is readjusted daily to operate according to environmental conditions.
The manufacturer recommends that computer-controlled irrigation systems have a grounding system with 10 ohms or less of resistance. Once in place, the grounding system should be checked annually.
& Health Precautions/Personal Protective Equipment
In addition, the computerized irrigation system equalizes the hydraulic demand on pump stations, thus decreasing energy requirements and protecting against hydraulic overload. Cost savings and pollution prevention are realized from the decreased energy requirements.
Finally, a cost savings is realized through more efficient use of water and hydrologic resources, and reduction of person-hours required to monitor the irrigation of the entire golf course.