An irrigation filter blocked by Bryozoans.
SPONSORED CONTENT – You’ll have seen perplexing patches of dead grass around areas of otherwise pristine green and have probably smelt the stench that lingers in some ponds that are dotted around most courses of the UAE.
Bryozoans are invertebrate that invade irrigation networks and block filters and nozzles leading to unsightly and seemingly unrepairable patches of dead grass. It’s a relatively new problem in Dubai with the first case seen in 2012.
Alpha Environmental Solutions is fighting back on behalf of several Dubai golf clubs already and hopes to raise awareness of a problem that is regularly misidentified by golf agronomy teams.
The blockages inside irrigation pipes appear like thick sand and are usually dismissed as sludge. It can look like algae but Bryozoans are filter-feeding organisms that flourish in freshwater reservoirs including those that are used for the temporary storage of irrigation water used to supply golf courses and other landscaped areas.
Bryozoans often grow attached to the inner surfaces of irrigation pipes and tubes. When they grow to high population densities they can significantly reduce flow through irrigation pipes and restrict the delivery of water to landscaped areas resulting in the death of grass and other vegetation. This is particularly a problem on golf courses which require high volumes of water, especially in arid regions such as the UAE.
Bryozoans and other filter-feeding organisms also flourish in lakes, particularly around the shallow margins where they can attach to rocks and other areas with a free-flowing source of organic matter and particulate food source.
“Physical cleaning does not solve the problem because the bryozoans live inside the pipes,” said Yasar Khalili, Managing Director of Alpha Environmental Solutions. “Also, treatment with normal disinfectants does not work because bryozoans have protective tubes that are resistant to normal disinfectants.”
Alpha Environmental Solutions specialises in treating these infestations with specialised chemical treatments. The chemicals are safe on plants but require special government license for application, for which Alpha Environmental Solutions is certified.
Depending on the length of the irrigation network and the volume of the irrigation reservoir, one-time treatment costs range between AED 8,000 to AED 30,000.