Bemidji Town & Country Club Online Newsletter - 07/20/07

Colleagues of BTCC, I have some good news to report. On Wednesday evening, July 18, 2007 we were pumping water for our golf course that was free of sediment, sand and rocks. To accomplish this feat, our ingenious well contractor, Steve Traut had to improvise the designed sleeve patches for our two holes in our well casing. We have a hole in our casing at 81 feet and another at 63.6 feet.

The concept was to have two custom manufactured sleeves with numerous outer tapered rubber ring seals. These sleeves would be positioned to effectively seal the holes, preventing the pumping of sediment, sand and rocks. The first sleeve was positioned at the lower level and stayed in place. The seals are, in theory, able to seal the area and hold the sleeve in place. This was not the case with the second sleeve since it dropped out of position due to the weight of the sleeve and the accelerated corrosion in that area. The accelerated corrosion in that area made our inside well casing diameter larger causing the sleeve to drop out of position. Our pump head was positioned in that area and our flowing well continually pushed water by the pump head when the pump was not running, causing the accelerated corrosion.

Steve Traut devised a tool to retrieve the sleeves. He then welded stainless steel cable to each sleeve and repositioned them to seal the holes. The cables are secured to the top of our casing effectively holding them in the correct location. This is only a temporary patch / band aid. There is no guarantee on how long it will last. Therefore, at the last board meeting Tom Johanns and the greens committee were given direction to start the process of researching the cost, location and permitting of a new well. A new well is not an option, but a necessity for BTCC at this time. As more information is obtained and decisions are made we will keep you all informed.

Lastly, and more importantly, it is critical that the membership and players understand that out watering system contains a lot of sediment and sand due to the pumping of water with a holey well casing. No pun intended! Therefore, we have sprinkler heads that are stuck in the open position. Please resist the temptation of trying to physically close them. Tom will be operating the watering system 24-7 to help clear out the lines of sediment and sand. During golfing hours, Tom will water the rough and fill ponds. We will continue to have delayed early morning tee times to allow Tom and his staff the time to water greens and stay ahead of the golfers. Please check with Rick Grand and his staff for exact times since clearing the lines and heads of sediment and sand is not predictable.

As usual, Brent, Rick, Tom and the Birchmont Tournament committee will work together to insure we have a great tournament next week, addressing all of the needs associated with that event. I want to thank all of you for your patience during these trying times. Lastly, good luck to the members playing in the Birchmont!

Gene R. Bakke
President BTCC