As the sweltering months are upon us, I would like to share some information on a few of the practices that we are doing this summer.

First is the application of potassium permanganate to our irrigation water ponds and irrigation lines. We are using potassium permanganate to control fish parasites and Quagga Mussels (QM’s) that attach themselves to the irrigation lines. QM’s get into the irrigation lines through the filtering system as babies barely the size of a grain of sand. Somehow they survive the immense water pressure our pump station exudes. Once they get into the irrigation system they attach themselves to the pipes and remain there until they grow to about the size of a pea or sometimes larger. At that point in time they will break away from the pipe and get stuck in the sprinklers. A typical sign of a prevalent population of QM’s is when sprinklers do not shut off as they are scheduled to. The shells will get caught in the bottom valve of the sprinkler and will not allow the valve to close.

This spring we have seen an unusual amount of “stuck sprinklers” at the Vistas course. Once the potassium permanganate is in the irrigation lines it is left there for several hours and then is flushed out of the irrigation system through several flush lines we have throughout the golf course. We will then see many of the QMs come out of the flush lines thus cleaning out the irrigation system.

After calling a few other superintendents and Bob Revolinski from Water Resource Management it was decided that potassium permanganate was the best option because it is effective and safe for all. Below is a picture of the QMs.

The only downside to the use of potassium permanganate is that it will turn the water purple. We anticipate using potassium permanganate only once or twice this summer and then maintain the water with chlorine tablets similar to what is used in swimming pools. Many golf courses and landscape facilities in the southwest have successfully implemented this program.

With that been said I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable summer.

David Escobedo, GCS

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