Twin Creeks G.C. Course Manager, Darren Turner called Gilba Solutions in 2021 with a water quality issue on a number of his dams. There was an outbreak of algae and he was concerned it might be an issue. After a site visit there was a strong possibility that it was blue-green algae in water and testing confirmed this.
What causes blue-green algae?
Several factors favour the growth of blue-green algae:
- Excessive amounts of phosphorus and nitrogen;
- Increasing water temperature and light; the optimum temperature for many algal species is around 35°C.
- Still or slow-flowing water;
- Ample sunlight.
Under still conditions, there can be an increase in cyanobacteria which forms visible ‘blooms’. These blooms lead to poor water quality and possible toxicity.
Nutrients are either present in sediments or are washed into water bodies. In particular, phosphorus is in large amounts in sediments and released by normal bacterial activity.
On a golf course, fertiliser is the main source of external nitrogen and phosphorus, so if you use slow-release fertilisers, it counters this. Even household products, sewage effluent and stormwater runoff can also be an issue.
Twin Creeks Golf and Country Club is in the beautiful surrounds of Nepean Valley and Australian Golf Digest ranked it number 93 in 2021. It hosted the NSW Open from 2017-2019.
Due to the environmental sensitivity of the area it meant that treatment had to have minimal impact. After looking at several options, a decision as made to treat the dams with Agri-Tec®, a formulation of copper pentahydrate. The reasons for this were:
- Ease of application. You pour Agritec® into a dam and it self-disperses;
- It has low rates of use;
- It is not toxic to fish and
- You can safely use treated water for irrigation.
The result of using Agritec®
Within 3 days you could see the algae was affected, and complete control was in a week.
Agri-tec is a proprietary copper formulation for the control of algae including blue-green algae in water.
Agri-Tec® is a unique copper-based aquatic algaecide and is for the control of a number of algae species including Chara and Phormidium species. You can use Agritec® in farm dams and ponds, irrigation canals, lakes, and potable water supplies.
The key features of Agri-Tec® are:
- You can apply Agri-Tec® directly to water bodies;
- It is easy to measure out and use;
- Agri-Tec® has very low application rates;
- It works where the algae growth is the greatest;
- Works in high pH conditions;
- You can immediately use treated water for irrigation;
- It is non-toxic to fish;
- Here are the Agri-Tec Label and Agri-Tec MSDS.
After Graduating from Newcastle University with an Hons Degree in Soil Science in 1988, Jerry then worked for the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) as a turf agronomist before emigrating to Australia in 1993.
He followed this by gaining a Grad Dip in Business Management from UTS. He has worked in a number of management roles for companies as diverse as Samsung Australia, Arthur Yates and Paton Fertilizers.
He has always had a strong affinity with the Australian sports turf industry and as a result he established Gilba Solutions as an independent sports turf consultancy in 1993. Jerry has written over 100 articles and two books on a wide range of topics such as Turf Pesticides and Nutrition which have been published in Australia and overseas.