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gookin

Stream Management
« on: January 26, 2004, 11:34:24 AM »
I am writing from Fox Chapel Golf Club.   Currently we are having discussion about the stream that meanders through our property.  Over our 75 years, the stream bed has constantly moved. However, water run off in our Borough continues to change and the impact of heavy rains is greater than it has ever been.  I am interested in any opinion about how the stream should be managed. The impact of the stream on greens and tees is minimal. However, on at least two holes it could change fairways.  We appear to have the land and flexibility to adjust them.  Any thoughts on the issue.

SL_Solow

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Re:Stream Management
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2004, 03:02:33 PM »
Is your stream deemed a "navigable waterway".  If so (and that designation is not always consistent with the intuitive meaning) your efforts to "manage" the stream may require consultation with the army corps of engineers.

Steve Lang

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:Stream Management
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2004, 06:56:16 PM »
 8)

If you can float a popsicle stick down it , its "navigable waters" under federal law or "waters of the state".. beware of Clean Water Act Section 404 and any dredge and fill activities that would be subject to Corps permitting.

(sp. corrected)
« Last Edit: January 27, 2004, 08:42:32 AM by Steve Lang »
Inverness (Toledo, OH) cathedral clock inscription: "God measures men by what they are. Not what they in wealth possess.  That vibrant message chimes afar.
The voice of Inverness"

A_Clay_Man

Re:Stream Management
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2004, 07:04:39 PM »
Ok I'll start assuming and that way, I can be corrected.

Goodkin- (I think u might find some opposition to your chosen nic) You state there is room. Fox Chapel...I assume there are trees there now? If so, remove'em. Remove'm all. Let nature take it course. Make it wide enough so that in years of drought, the area can still be turfed. Basically allowing mother nature to decide what kind of hole your gonna have. Ever evolving, yet playable, seems essence sent, to me.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2004, 07:07:16 PM by A_Clay_Man »

RJ_Daley

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Re:Stream Management
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2004, 08:39:21 PM »
Steve says, "If you can float a popsicle stick down it , its "navigable waters" under federal law or "waters of the state"..

I think you can add, if you can float a popsicle stick down it even one day a year... ::)

I'd start a separate capital improvement fund now, and hire an enviro. engineer to tell you guys where this may lead and get any permitting process and hearings and such going early, rather than let it continue to a time of crisis.
No actual golf rounds were ruined or delayed, nor golf rules broken, in the taking of any photographs that may be displayed by the above forum user.

Doug Wright

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Re:Stream Management
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2004, 10:52:56 PM »
8)

If you can float a popsicle stick down it , its "navigable waters" under federal law or "waters of the state".. beware of Celan Water Act Section 404 and andy dredge and fill activities that would be subject to Corps permitting.

Yikes! I know my club has good lawyers, but I'm deleting my post above just the same...  :o ::)

Best,
Twitter: @Deneuchre

Steve Lang

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Re:Stream Management
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2004, 08:51:47 AM »
 8)

Doug.. I've corrected my spelling,.. must have been tired after walkin/playin yesterday PM in 72F ,.. gettin ready for some football.. rough winter..

As an enviro-eng-psudeo-enviro-lawyer for the past 35 years it is always distressing to watch folks get hammered by the loaded language of most enviro statutes and regs.  

If you have the classic "low-flow" stream as I beleive RJ_D is referring to, then it is very important to understand the PA DEP's current policies on such.  I surfed your watershed on EPA website and didn't see much other than Oakmont across the River?
« Last Edit: January 27, 2004, 12:42:56 PM by Steve Lang »
Inverness (Toledo, OH) cathedral clock inscription: "God measures men by what they are. Not what they in wealth possess.  That vibrant message chimes afar.
The voice of Inverness"

FREEMAHC

Re:Stream Management
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2004, 11:36:30 AM »
Well, I haven't seen the site, so you'll have to be the one to judge the feasibility of this. I am a civil engineer in NC and the state has taken a pretty well funded initiative to work on some stream restoration. In short, this includes studying the watershed and reconstrructing the stream so it functions well during high flows and will stop changing it's location after heavy rains.

The big impact this would have on a golf course would be the need for a protective buffer and floodplain area. In order for the stream to remain stable, this generallly means that a 150' wide corridor must be available for such a project. This buffer area should NOT be maintained. The vegetation needs to grow so that the roots can protect the land and keep the water from eroding banks.

I know of one project done recently on a course down here, and the general statements coming from people who didn't understand the engineering behind the project was "That pretty ugly, they need to cut down all that brush". Well, that's exactly what we DON'T want to happen.

Sorry for the rant, but a project like this can really help out the flood problems, and will keep the stream  in a stable condition so the golf course won't be adversly effected by flood waters. But it does require a bit of land, and it doesn't look "pretty"

If you have any other question I'd be happy to answer them.

Derek_L

Re:Stream Management
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2004, 10:52:27 PM »
Gookin,

I am not going to assume you are in the USA (by mention of Borough)  but if you are by some chance which state are you in?  The other guys here are right about the possibility of your stream being a navigable waterway.  If your course is upstream (no pund intended-not sure of spelling?) of an area that regularly floods there may be soem sort of possibilty that the stream path can be modified through the course and the land can be reshaped in such a manner that would help to reduce flooding of areas downstream.  Also, if the stream is a sensitive waterway (i.e., trout or salmon) then there may be the possiblity of rerouting it and creating aesthetically pleasing (to the golfers eye) and highly functional (to the agencies) wide vegetated buffers.  The buffers would serve several purposes but if designed properly and planted properly with native grasses, shrubs and trees the stream edges could and would stay intact better than now.  Sometimes what we golfers want on a golf course need to give alittle to get what we concerned parties want.  Buffers can be constructed properly to fit in with the motif of the course.  Not only is it critical to revegitate the stream it is also necessary to reconstruct areas of the banks and stream bottom.  Concepts such as hard armoring (very ugly but very functional), root wads, fendway weirs, etc. can be used to move the water around in a way that the stream banks stay in tact (i.e., the water is slowed down).  Something else I woudl recommend is you look at the big picture and see if the stream has problems up and down from your site, it may be a global issue.  If you are in an area where the stream is considered a major waterway (i.e., a component of a watershed) you may be able to find out if there is an exisitng easement of any sort over the stream, who knows maybe you will have a simple task, as simple as Ross did in his early years when he wanted to fill or modify wetlands with no questions asked.  Boy have times changes!!!

Good luck!!!

Derek

gookin

Re:Stream Management
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2004, 11:25:47 AM »
Thanks for the thoughtful responses. Our course is located in PA.  Under normal conditions the stream is several feet deep and just wide enough to keep players from stepping across.  The stream will flood during bad storms.  My bias is to let nature take its course and to adjust play accordingly.  Most of the trees which would have negatively impacted this strategy have been removed. I will admit to be looking for support for this opinion.  Spending funds to try to control a stream seems to me to be a poor use of a limited resource.

Lou_Duran

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:Stream Management
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2004, 11:46:49 AM »
Freemahc,

I am near Dallas, Texas and my home course has serious creek problems (Johnson Creek, which I think empties into the Trinity River).  We have three damns on the section of the creek running through the course, two which have failed, major bank erosion problems, and heavy silting. further downstream.

Questions- of the top of your head (assuming that NC and TX are similar in their regulations in this area):

Is dredging using the materials to build up previous flood plain totally offsetting and likely to be permitted?

Can rocks, wood retaining (RR ties) walls, stacked concrete sacks, etc. be effective to prop-up banks near creek curves where the water flow can be considerable and rapid during flash floods?

Have you seen federal funds for flood control used in part to remedy problems at some golf courses?  I believe that Colonial CC got quite a bit of money some 10-15 years ago through some type of federal program.

Any references for information on these types of issues would be greatly appreciated.  

FREEMAHC

Re:Stream Management
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2004, 01:56:24 PM »
Lou - I'm not sure about all the specifics, but I'll answer your questions as best I can.

I do not know about the dredging laws, but I would tend to think that they would be frowned upon by the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) If the stream is not a juristicional stream (shown as a blue line on a USGS Quad map) then your chances of being able to modify it are greatly increased. You'll have to do some research into your local wetland and stormwater rules to find out exactly what you can and cannot do.

The devices you mention to armor the banks are effective, but not the best option. If space permits, your much better off building a smaller channel with a floodplain and letting the stream use the floodplain during storms. This is by far and away the best way to protect against the erosion. By giving the stream a well vegetated floodplain to use, you slow down the velocity of the water.

In our restoration work we will generally protect the banks on the outside of bends with rootwads (take a 18" diameter tree that's been pushed over - not cut down - cut it off so it's only about 20' long, and jam the trunk into the banks,leaving the roots exposed on the outside of the bend) not only does this help keep the bank stable, but it also will provide better fish habitat. We'll also use rock vanes which are a v shaped rock formation in the channel to funnel the water to the center of the channel. This essentially steer the water around the bend, instead of letting it slam into the bank.

I have seen most projects funded by state funds, but there are some federal grants out there - one example is the recently passed Farm Bill - but I don't know if they are available for golf courses. If you go to the respective agencies, and sho them that you'll be establishing a natural buffer and wetland area, they might be more willing to help out. Especially since you've lost some wetlands with the dams failing.

If you want some more info I'd be happy to help where I can, If people are interested let me know and I will try to post some pictures of these examples in the near future.


Derek - just a couple thing I want to note about your post. Armoring the baks with rip-rap or RR ties does not slow the water down at all. It just give the banks a higher permissable shear stress. It's effective at protecting the bank from erosion, but generally just causes more problems downstream of the project.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2004, 01:59:01 PM by Freemahc »

Derek_L

Re:Stream Management
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2004, 11:27:15 PM »
Freemahc,

I am sorry if I made any mention of riprap as a solution for slowing the speed of the water, rather I meant as you suggested bank stablization.  I think the root wads work the best as riprap is pricy.  A better solution for bank stabilization and probaly one of the best concepts is the native grass  and live cuttings concept.  Native grass roots and willow/dogwood roots can extend many feet into the ground being the best anchoring system!!!

Derek

FREEMAHC

Re:Stream Management
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2004, 08:28:05 AM »
Yup - I agree wholeheartedly.

Patrick_Mucci

Re:Stream Management
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2004, 11:17:05 AM »
Gookin,

Is this an official club discussion ?
What segment of your club is having this discussion ?

A committee ?  Random Members ?  The superintendent ?

Solutions sometimes differ, depending on the ability of those discussing the problem to effect and implement change.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2004, 11:18:40 AM by Patrick_Mucci »

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