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Jeff Kolpack, Published March 22 2013

Pumps may lengthen golf season at Edgewood

FARGO – It was just more than a year ago when the Fargo Park District enlisted the help of a small army to help Edgewood Golf Course fight a flood. A very small three-piece army known as Crisafulli water pumps.

With the latest forecast for the Red River continuing to rise, it appears the water pumps may get a workout sometime next month. Once the river reaches around 30 foot flood stage, the “bowl area” of the course – better known as most of the front nine – fills up. In the past, it was mostly drained naturally using a flood gate located adjacent to hole No. 5.

Problem is the water never completely drained if the river stayed at a higher level.

So at a cost of $11,400 each, the Park District has engineering information that indicates the high-powered pumps will remove the water in about four days once the flood level falls below 30 feet. It took 15 days for the bowl to be entirely removed of water in the last flood.

That translates into a return on investment since golfers should be able to play the course sooner.

“We can literally pick up four weeks,” said Jim Larson, the Park District director of finance and human resources, referring to the time it takes to clean up a flood-damaged golf course. “The significance is how much damage is not caused and in the amount of repair work that will be significantly less.”

Edgewood has used Fargo city pumps in the past to help empty the bowl area, but Larson said it was time for the course to have its own equipment, which are equipped with longer hoses to reach the lowest parts of the course.

“There were smaller pumps, but we really had nothing to get all of that water out of there,” said Edgewood head professional Greg McCullough.

It was at this time last year when the course was already being played and on its way to more than 35,000 rounds played – the most since other courses around the Fargo-Moorhead area were built. When Edgewood was about the only public course option, McCullough said he heard there were years of 42,000 rounds.

The course completed a renovation of holes 2, 3 and 4 two years ago that essentially protected all 18 holes to at least around a 26-foot flood stage.

“We’ve been through it enough to know it’s a weather-related deal,” McCullough said. “Our biggest concern is does it drag on or will it get in and get out? The melt is the key. If it’s an in-and-out deal, we feel pretty confident we can get the course going as quickly as possible.”

With the new pumps, confidence this year could be even higher.

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia