Golf Course News

SurfRax system simplifies wastewater cleanup

SurfRax system simplifies wastewater cleanup

Overbeck, Andrew

STUART, Fla. – Robert Akre and his company Terra kinetics have developed a low-cost, low-maintenance system to deal with wastewater from golf course washdown areas.

The system is completely gravity fed and has no mechanical parts or filters that need to be maintained.

To date the company’s Surffaxwater pro- tection wash rack system has been installed at two Florida courses and Akre is eager to expand Terrakinetics’ geographical reach.

The system, which Akre and his partners developed over the last two years, uses existing technology to clean equipment wash down wastewater.

“SurfRax is a gravity fed system that takes the waste stream from an elevated wash pad and sends it through a series of collection baskets to filter out sand and grass clippings,” said Akre. “Hydrocarbon absorption pads collect any oil or grease and the water eventually ends up in a dry phytoremediation retention area.”

The 600– square-foot retention area absorbs the cleaned water, which is then filtered through an installed soil matrix and drains away. So far Akre and his team have installed paspalum turf to act as the final filter.

According to Akre, the system costs $25,000 to install and requires minimal yearly maintenance. The baskets need to be emptied daily and the hydrocarbon pads, which cost $40 a piece, need to be changed every six months. In comparison, said Akre, a closed-loop water recycling system can cost between $40,000 and $80,000 to install and are more costly to maintain.

Harry Hansen, superintendent at Miles Grant Country Club in Stuart, installed the SurfRax system last fall after hearing about the one Terra kinetics put in at Fort. Lauderdale (Fla.) Country Club.

“I had a finite amount of money and was upgrading my chemical mixing and loading and wash rack area. We decided to go with SurfRax be- cause I could get a lot more for the money than I could with a recycled system,” said Hansen.

According to Hansen, the simplicity was a driving factor in the decision, but more importantly, he was attracted because the system meets all of Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) guidelines. Akre is working with the DEP to gain compliance certificates for each system that Terra kinetics installs.

“Before we had no system other than to just go outside and wash it off. No one is forcing us to do this, but if you have a complaint then you have problem,” Hansen said. “I wanted to stay ahead of the game.”

Copyright United Publications, Inc. Jun 2002

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