Flood Damage In The SE Region February 27, 2015

Flood Damage In The SE Region

By Chris Hartwiger and Patrick O’Brien, USGA SE Region Agronomists

September 28, 2009

Rainfall totals from eight to 23 inches have been reported in Alabama and Georgia over the last ten days.  Severe flooding accompanied these rains and many golf courses are cleaning up in the aftermath of this 100 year storm.  Irrigation systems, pump stations, and satellite boxes were damaged at many golf courses.  Irrigation Consultant Bob Scott, of Irrigation Consultant Services (Conyers, GA), has been kind enough to offer the following information to help golf course superintendents get their systems back on line.

Flood damage to pump stations can have catastrophic impact on the golf course.  
Open up the pump house and get fans going to help dissipate the moisture, in addition to mopping, shop vac, and toweling off moisture. If there is too much water professional assistance is recommended. Turn off the control panels and dry out. The water will hold up in the electrical conduits so you must unhook the electrical connection and then pull the wires out to drain the area and/or drill drain holes in the conduit. You must get all the moisture out of the electrical conduits.


Pump motors are oil-filled to keep the moisture out, however the oil will need to be flushed out and new oil installed.


A weakness of a variable frequency drive (VFD) is water damage. In most cases, both the drive and the programmable controller need to be replaced. The control valve system usually will work ok.
The field satellites are moisture resistant, but not water proof. Dry out completely and give it a try. Often, the face plate displays are the first to go.
The PVC pipe will be ok if not damaged, but the steel fittings will start a corrosion process. In some ways the corrosion looks bad but it does help protect the pipe. It is best not to wire brush the corrosion off, but just clean it off and put on a protective paint.


Hope this helps in a small way from all the headaches of water damage.


Source: Patrick O'Brien 770-229-8125 or  and Chris Hartwiger 205-444-5079 or