I drove my spray machine close to the curb of the street so my hose would reach the bent grass nursery 40 yards away. This would be the last patch of bentgrass after the 18 greens and practice range I’d sprayed earlier. I rolled out almost all my hose to reach the back of the nursery and started spraying the turf with the fertilizer and blue marking dye. Suddenly, there was no spray pattern, just a weak dribble from the nozzle.
Something has broken and I’ve lost pressure!
I dropped the nozzle and ran back to the spray tank. A geyser of blue liquid shot two feet into the air from a split in the hose. Quickly I turned off the motor to stop the pump.
Relief turned to panic when I saw the blue liquid puddled on the street and running along the curb toward the open sewer grate. I couldn’t let this happen. Only last week the city tested the sewer with a remote camera to certify that it was open, clean, and suitable for new housing development. If the chemical and blue dye went into the sewer our golf course would be in big trouble.
I grabbed my shovel and ran down the street to get ahead of the flowing water. I dug out dirt in the landscaping between the street and the sidewalk. I shoveled dirt as fast as I could to build a dam that would stop the flow before it reached the sewer.
I’m not a very good Dutchman because the water flow dug through my dike, forcing me to frantically dig and pile more dirt along the curb. The water continued to break through and forced me further down the street. I almost had the flow stopped when I felt the steel sewer grate under my feet at the same moment the dirt piles absorbed the last bit of running water. I didn’t trust that the flow had stopped, and kept shoveling dirt until the last puddle of water couldn’t penetrate my little dam.
Standing on the sewer grate, leaning on my shovel, I panted in exhaustion and relief. Not that the chemical would hurt anybody, because it was a low toxicity compound. However, water with blue dye entering the sewer would light up the city’s camera and generate a significant fine and costly clean up for the golf course. Not to mention the effort I’d have to make looking for a new job.