Stormwater Management: a Win-Win Effort at Brae Burn

Guest blog post by Blake Halderman, CGCS, Brae Burn Country Club in Purchase, NY

When evaluating your property, don’t just focus on the grass. It’s important to think about all areas of your property that might be affecting the results you are trying to achieve!

ISSUE –  Runoff from Highway 684 caused flooding of the 7th fairway on a regular basis, bringing along with it dirt, other debris, and contaminated water.

RESOLUTION – Create a “retention area” to capture the first flush of rainfall as to not overtax the piping system on the golf course until most of the water can subside after rainfall events. This area has been recently seeded as well to act as a filtering device in the future. We installed an overflow device (elevated pipe with top 1 foot below the ridge of the burn) with low flow holes  which allow the water to enter the pipe in a controlled manner. If water goes above the holes, it will enter the top of the pipe. If the volume of water is greater still, then we have installed a rock swale with two additional drains to hopefully capture the water before it reaches the fairway surface.

RESULTS –  The retention area alone holds enough water so that it barely enters the lowest holes 99% of the time. Eventually, the water infiltrates into the ground before the next rainfall event. As a result of these efforts, the fairway is much more playable. In addition, the runoff originating from the highway (oils, salts, etc.) is filtered in the retention area, and the decrease in stormwater runoff volume across the fairway reduces the potential for the runoff to pickup nutrients and pesticides from the turf surface and transport them to surface waters.

TOTAL COST – Less than $500. Material costs included a couple pieces of 12” pipe, 1 piece of 18”pipe for the risers and 3 grates.