What Are The Most Common Golf Course Irrigation Water Sources

Golf Course Irrigation Water Sources

As golf is an outdoor sport, a golf course demands more maintenance. There is a long list of golf course maintenance equipment. Irrigation is one of the most important golf course maintenance practices. The source of irrigation varies. Some golf courses can access only one irrigation source and some can access more than one. Depending on the region, golfers have to play in a wide range of conditions. Sometimes, it can be scorching heat and sometimes it can be just above freezing.

The grass is always exposed to these conditions. In addition to good soil, the grass also needs adequate levels of sunlight, water and nutrients to endure the extreme weather. While other maintenance requirements can be a little easy to meet, irrigation is not easy. Water must be distributed uniformly and frequently. 80% to 85% of the weight of the grass plant is because of water.

So, water is very vital to the grass. This is the reason why every facility has a source of water and the best irrigation system to ensure the good health of the grass and the playing surface. While it is important to learn about the right irrigation system for your facility, in this article, we will review different sources of golf course irrigation water. You can find turf sprayer for sale.

The following table illustrates different sources of irrigation water and the percentage of facilities relying on that particular irrigation water source:

Source Percentage of facilities relying on the source
Lakes, ponds and other water sources 53%
On-site wells 46%
Streams, rivers, creeks 17%
Municipal water supply 14%
Recycled/reclaimed water 12%
Canals 4%

Lakes, Ponds, And Other Open Water Sources

An open-source of irrigation water can be either manmade or natural. Wells, streams, runoffs or underground springs can recharge these sources. Open sources of irrigation water are often one of the key features in the design of holes.

On-site Wells

Many facilities have wells drilled on the property. 46% of the facilities access irrigation water from this source. Depending on the location of the facility, the location and depth of well vary. The well can be as deep as 1500 feet to 2500 feet or as shallow as 20 feet to 50 feet. The water from this source can be pumped into an irrigation reservoir or directly onto the golf course using an irrigation system.

Creeks, Streams, And Rivers

If the flows are reliable, creeks, streams, and rivers are excellent sources of irrigation water. Around 17% of the facilities in the US are using these sources. The water can be sent to the irrigation system directly from the source or it can be pumped into an on-site reservoir. When the supply and flow of creeks and streams are smaller, most of the time water is pumped into a reservoir and then used at the time of irrigation.

Municipal Water System

Some facilities use a municipal water system to source irrigation water. It is also known as “city water”. You can easily hook into the municipal water. The quality of the city water is excellent. However, when your region is hit by a drought, you will be the first whose water supply will be restricted. Depending on your location, this can be the most expensive option.

Recycled/Reclaimed Water

This water comes from municipal sewage treatment plants. This water undergoes tertiary treatment. As a result, you get highly purified water. Though it is an excellent source, most of the facilities have limited access.

The price of reclaimed water varies. Depending on the location, you might get this water free of cost. At some locations, you might have to pay.


Coastal areas receive high levels of rainfall. Only a few facilities rely on this source of irrigation water. Water quality is also not good.

You must have an adequate amount of quality irrigation water and an efficient irrigation system. Irrigation is an important practice. Like all other pieces of golf course maintenance equipment, invest in the best golf course irrigation system.

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