Control of calcium build up in irrigation piping

CASE STUDY Olde Cypress, Florida


The Club at Olde Cypress in Naples, Florida experienced a flow restriction in the irrigation system. A build up had formed inside the PVC piping and severely limited the water flow (shown below). Fairway areas of the golf course which traditionally had 10 to 12 sprinkler heads operating at one time had now been reduced to 2 or 3 heads because of the limited flow. Olde Cypress inquired about the Care-Free Water Conditioner technology as a solution to eliminating the build up in their system.


The build up was analysed and it was determined that the deposits were predominantly calcium based. Care-Free Water Conditioners have been used successfully in the residential market for decades for calcium. A trial was set up to treat approximately three holes of the golf course with a water conditioner. Evaluations would be made on this section of pipe to determine if the treatment was successful.

A 100mm Care-Free Water Conditioner with power regulator was fitted on one of the lateral irrigation lines. This section of piping would flow to approximately three fairways on the golf course. On this piping network, there is a mitigation area so that water and sediment could be purged from the system.


After eight weeks of continuous treatment, the flow to this section of the golf course returned to normal. During this period, build up was purged from the system. There was no adverse effect on the irrigation piping, sprinkler heads or control valves.

At the completion of this trial, the club purchased a 200mm Care-Free Water Conditioner to handle flows of 6,810 L/min. It was fitted to the discharge side of the irrigation pump station and now treats the water for the entire golf course.

Improve grass
Improve grass


The Club faced a unique challenge with the pipe build up issue. Build up could have been removed with a chemical wash, but ultimately that chemical would have to be collected and disposed of because of environmental concerns. Secondly, the irrigation piping could have been replaced. These options would have involved risk to the environment and disruption to the golf course. The Club chose the Care-Free Water Conditioner as the preferred method of treatment.


The Care-Free Water Conditioner has provided a solution to control build up in irrigation piping.