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Byron Bay Golf Club Pump Station Upgrade

Sports Fields & Golf Clubs Site Report

Byron Bay is one of the most environmentally sensitive areas on the east coast of Australia. As part of a major course improvement and a treated effluent water initiative, Byron Bay Golf Club have upgraded their irrigation and pump system using a totally integrated Rain Bird solution.

The course layout also underwent some civil and architectural changes. Treated effluent water is provided by the Byron Bay Shire Council Effluent Treatment Works.

The old irrigation system consisted of a single fixed speed end suction pump, undersized disc filter and stand alone control operated in a semi-automatic mode. Not unlike many older systems, which are plagued by inefficiency and reliability issues, and maintained by budget restraints under a false economy. Beyond environmental considerations, the old pump shed was at best an OHS liability risk, again not uncommon in older pump sheds.

BBGC recognized the need to progress forward responsibly and apportioned some of their allotted budget towards an overhaul of the irrigation system.

The priority for the first stage allowed for the ‘heart’ of the system to be completed: central control, pump station, decoder network, aerator fountain, and some extensions to the existing sprinkler system.

The control system has been replaced with a Stratus II decoder network, complete with Freedom pad for efficient and flexible system control from both central or oncourse remote locations. The pump station has been replaced with a Rain Bird V-3300 series packaged pump station with 50% increased capacity to 30 l/s and has variable speed control to deliver the required constant pressure seamlessly across the full range of flows.

The pump unit intelligently manages both flow and pressure at stand alone and central control levels. For example, if pressure looks OK but the flow is excessive for number of pumps running, a high flow alarm can be configured to minimize potential washouts.

The pump control panel with user-friendly ‘touch’ screen is connected to the windows based central irrigation control PC via modems and interfaces with Stratus II using ‘Smart Pump™’ software.

The control system can react to underflow & overflow conditions with user definable actions, along with automatic recalibration of the Stratus II FloManager based on actual system flows

The Pump Manager software allows for complete remote monitoring of pump unit status, data values and allows for reset of system faults. The Rain Bird package has undoubtedly set a higher standard in central control & pumping technology, a trend welcomed by golf course superintendents worldwide.

The filter has been replaced with a Rain Bird BSF8-3 screen filter with automatic backwash and ample capacity to filter the required flow rate without significant friction losses and reduced pressure during overly frequent backwash cycles associated with the old filter unit. In addition, the suction pipe was replaced and everything from the main connections was upgraded from 80 to 150mm.

To improve and maintain water quality, a new Rain Bird Otterbine aerating fountain has been installed in the irrigation supply lake. The selection is based on key design criteria such as water quality, environmental conditions, lake volume and depth. This will significantly reduce algae & weed build up problems evident in the water supply, along with enhancing aesthetic features of the lake. By comparison to the old system, key tangible benefits for the club and golfers will include:

  • Major reduction in labour input
  • Significant water savings
  • Reduced power consumption
  • Reduced potential for breakages & downtime
  • Improved water quality
  • Optimal turf grass condition
  • Eliminate daytime irrigation cycles
  • Compliance to reduce safety risks

The entire project was ably supplied and installed by Lang Irrigation without course closure and minimal interruptions to play, a credit to the team’s project management skills and co-operative effort of BBGC greens staff. Stage 1 is now complete, which accounts for the major portion of works. Some minor sprinkler upgrades & extensions to some areas, where required, are planned to continue.

The BBGC project is not only an environmentally responsible initiative, it demonstrates sound management decisions based on balancing capital cost with "cost of ownership." An excellent example of The Intelligent Use of Water™ and delivering customer value. Contact Scott Johnstone or Greg Smith RBA for further information.