Pump It Up

Our miniature golf course features six ponds, two fountains and a 15 foot boulder waterfall.  The Iowa weather dictates for us to store the pumps inside in the winter to keep them safe from freezing.  In the spring, the ponds are cleaned and prepped for the installation of the pumps.  It is always amazing to see just how dirty the water can get over the course of the winter.  Lots of winter debris fly into the ponds and creates a pretty ugly mess.


We have three different pumps that need to get installed in each of the lower ponds on the miniature golf course.  At the bottom of each pond is a pit where the pump rests.  Then it is covered with a grate to protect the pump from errant golf balls.  Golf balls can destroy a pump.  Pumps are pretty pricey.  Let’s just say I could feed my teenage son for several months on the amount of money it costs to replace a pump.


Once the pump has been put into the pit, it needs to get attached to the flexible tubing that runs underneath the miniature golf course.  They also have to be wired up to the electrical outlets.

This tubing connects the pump to the main line that runs underneath the minigolf and connects the two ponds.


The pumps are installed in the lower ponds and the water is pumped up through the tubing and out into the upper pond and creates a large fountain of water that streams out.  While the water pours out of the tubing, it overflows the upper pond causing the water to trickle down through the rivers to the lower ponds that run along the bottom of the miniature golf course.  Isn’t that cool how that all works?  It’s like an episode of How’s It’s Made.


There is a shutoff valve on each pond which helps to increase or decrease the water flow.  If we have a water problem, we can also shut off the water.  That’s probably why it is called a shutoff valve, huh?


These pumps weigh more than my dad and brother combined, so it takes several strong men to lower them into the pit.  Once they are lowered into the pit, it is pretty easy to get it hooked up.  The electricity is wired up and with the flip of a switch, we have water flowing on the miniature golf course.  It isn’t always that easy, of course.  Some years, there are many other steps depending on how well the pumps want to cooperate.  When you play miniature golf, you’ll see that we usually have blue water.  We dye the water blue to help hide all of the tubing that is at the bottom of the ponds, plus it helps to prevent algae from forming.


Who knew getting the minigolf up and running for the summer required so much work?  Anybody want to help with lowering the pumps into the pit?  We can always use an extra back!

Post by Allison

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