German club purchases water recycling system
Hanau-Wilhelmsbad Golf Club near Frankfurt has become the first golf venue in Germany to purchase a ClearWater washpad water recycling system.
The 5,000 litre system from Highspeed Group, which is located safely underground, allows users to clean their course machinery with recycled water, treated with micro-organisms. It means no contaminated water is discharged into the soil and golf clubs can cut water expenditure on cleaning their mowing machines and other course machinery by nearly 100 percent.
Germany, which has the second highest number of golf clubs in Europe, behind the UK, is one of the continent’s strictest appliers of European Union environmental legislation, such as the EU Water Framework Directive. A number of German clubs use oil separators or similar, but in most cases these are no longer sufficient to prevent pollution to required standards.
Chris Knowles, the British course manager at Hanau-Wilhelmsbad, who has worked in German golf clubs for the last 12 years, said he chose the ClearWater system after first meeting Highspeed Group’s joint managing director, David Mears, at BTME in 2012.
“The system we had was not adequate and I wanted to challenge the negative environmental press golf clubs can get in Germany anyway, by showing that we can prevent pollution,” he said.
“I was attracted to the ClearWater system as soon as I saw it because, being below ground, it is enclosed and therefore easy on the eye. We also turn off our irrigation system for winter, but because ClearWater uses recycled water that won’t freeze because it is underground, we can still clean our large fleet of mowers during the winter months with it.”
Chris told David his club would purchase the system if Highspeed Group could prove to the German authorities that it was compliant with their legislation. The UK manufactured system has undergone exhaustive testing and meets the necessary requirements of EN858 (equivalent to DIN1999-100 in Germany). Highspeed received official certification that its system was fully compliant with Germany’s interpretation of EU law and this was passed to Chris. At this year’s BTME, he therefore signed the deal.
David said: “We are delighted to sign our first contract with a German golf club. Chris is a proactive course manager and this future-proof system means the club has conformed to stringent and ever-changing law. We would urge all golf clubs in Germany, just as many have in the UK, to look at how they clean their course machinery, and check to see if this conforms to the law.
“It costs a lot less to purchase one of these systems than it does to have your club closed down because it is in breach of environmental legislation.”
Chris added that he would be happy to show other course managers at German golf clubs how the system works.
David added that this year’s BTME show was a success.
“This was an important show for Highspeed Group and we were determined to make BTME 2014 our best yet,” he said.
“The company was not to be disappointed as the footfall, orders and enquiries exceeded anything seen in the last four years.
“Confidence is certainly returning.”