Course Maintenance: Unwanted Guests

Brendan Waddell, Superintendent

Some of you may have noticed some unwanted ponds on the course, or wet areas at times, so I would like to explain how that can happen. In our ponds and throughout the irrigation system, we have an unwanted guest called the Zebra Mussel. They are two inches and smaller and grow to their maximum size by the first year, with a lifespan of an average of three to five years. The Zebra Mussel travels throughout the course inside our pipes. When they reach a sprinkler head, they plug the valve by getting stuck on the bottom of the sprinkler, keeping it from closing and shutting off properly. This causes the head to run all night, creating an unwanted pond or wet area. I am looking into methods of control for these creatures. They are usually treated with chemicals, so the challenge is to make it safe for our fish and humans. Once I have the solution, I will post in a future blast.