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        Conclusions/results from project final reports summaries are published in the
        WCTA Annual Research Reports 1997-2003
        The entire final report may be obtained by emailing

        Back to Index - WCTA Research Projects & WCTA Final Report Summaries click here

        Nutrient & Water Management - Final Report Summaries

        Click here Architectural Approaches for Biological Filtration of Nutrients in Golf Course Runoff Water (2001-03)

        Click here Surface Water Quality Monitoring on Pacific Northwest Golf Courses (2001-02)

        Click here Using Evapotranspiration Data from to Schedule Irrigation (2001-03)

        Architectural Approaches for Biological Filtration of Nutrients In Golf Course Runoff Water (2003)

        Eric Miltner, Gwen Stahnke, William Johnston, and Geoffrey Rinehart, Washington State University

        Biological filtration systems are designed to enable plants and soil microorganisms to take up nutrients from runoff water before it leaves the site. These systems include wetlands, grass buffers, drainage basins, and other features that represent an innovative, environmentally-conscious approach to golf course designs.

        In this study, runoff water samples are collected periodically from a site designed with biological filtration systems. Samples were analyzed for inorganic nitrogen and soluble phosphorus, two potentially important pollutants of surface and ground water.


        • The biological filters on this site appear to be working to reduce nutrient runoff.
        • Continued sampling the following year may help to confirm the trends that have been observed.

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        Surface Water Quality Monitoring on Pacific Northwest Golf Courses Mid-Year Report (May 1, 2003)

        Eric Miltner1, Michael S. Hindahl2, and Gwen Stahnke1, Washington State University1, Puyallup WA2 Links Analytical, Estacada OR

        People of the Pacific Northwest have always had a heightened awareness of environmental issues. Since the period of August 1998 to March 1999, when seven species of fish in the salmonid family were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, preservation of surface water quality has been at the forefront. Throughout the region, plans are being developed and implemented that limit the potential inputs of pollutants into streams and rivers, and projects to restore habitat are also underway. Many salmon-bearing streams are located in urban areas, including golf courses. Golf course superintendents must ensure that their management practices preserve the quality of surface water bodies that pass through their properties.

        Research Initiated
        Two golf courses were monitored for nutrient and pesticide inputs into salmon-bearing streams that pass through them. Site I was located in Vancouver, WA, just north of Portland, OR, and Site II was located in Bellevue, WA, east of Seattle. At both locations, paired samples were collected on the first Monday of every month. Samples were collected at two locations on each course: where the streams enter the property, and where they exit. Samples were analyzed for pesticides, nitrate-nitrogen, and orthophosphate.

        Although the data do show a few isolated occurrences of potential chemical inputs from the golf courses into the streams, overall the results show the impact to be minimal. The potential golf course inputs that did occur resulted in concentrations in stream water barely above the limits of detection. There were 40 separate pesticide applications at Site I and 23 applications at Site II, as well as monthly fertilization at each course. Clearly, the vast majority of fertilizers and pesticides applied at these sites did not mobilize into surface water bodies.

        Future Research
        Sample collection and analysis will continue through May 2004, resulting in two complete years of data from each golf course. At Site II, we are devising plans to collect samples from the uphill residential areas in the spring of 2003 in order to assess the potential of inputs from this area to the golf course. The application of relatively mobile broadleaf herbicides to residential lawns during the spring months will serve as a good indicator of the potential for inputs from this area.

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        Using Evapotranspiration Data from to Schedule Irrigation - the Home of ET

        There is now a place for irrigators in BC to find irrigation management/scheduling and evapotranspiration (ET) information on-line.

        There are various methods of irrigation scheduling including climate, soil and plant based methods. Climate methodology uses a water balance approach, where a simple checkbook method is used to determine when to irrigate. To do this the turf manager needs to know how much water the soil can hold, the amount of water available to the crop, the amount of water used by the crop over time and the amount of water added to the system by irrigation or rainfall. It is possible for the irrigator to determine all of these except the water consumption by the turfgrass which is directly related to the evapotranspiration rate.

        The Farmwest web site will provide ET information for 42 locations in irrigated areas around BC. The climate information is gathered from existing Environment Canada (EC) climate stations that are able to automatically give us daily climate information.

        Currently we know that daily information will be available and if additional funding partners are found we may be able offer forecasting of ET to aid irrigators in the planning of their irrigation. We also hope to add the data from additional non-EC climate stations that are able to link in with our system. This will improve our ability to provide more localized ET observations.

        The site will also contain links to information on how to use ET data and other irrigation management advice.

        The Farmwest website already delivers information to growers on temperature and forage production. The ET component has been up and running since May 1st, 2001!

        Go to for other agriculture related information. Become familiar and proficient using the ET site during the winter when you may have more time. Then during the irrigation season you will be comfortable using the ET information.

        For more information contact: T. Janine Nyvall
        Tel: (604) 556-3113
        Fax: (604) 556-3099

        Ted van der Gulik.
        Tel: (604) 556-3112
        Fax: (604) 556-3099

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