Golf courses are well known for their manicured fairways, immaculate greens and pest free conditions, but achieving these standards requires the use of fertilizers and pesticides, which must be safely stored.
OSHA highlighted improper fertilizer storage and the risks and responsibilities of the fertilizer industry when they issued an open letter after a tragic incident in 2014. While emergency crews mobilized to fight a fire at a Texas fertilizer company, a bulk quantity of ammonium nitrate exploded, killing 15 people.
Pollution clauses also form a standard part of insurance policies for golf courses. If pesticides or fertilizer storage containers leak out into the environment, they can damage water resources and the associated plant and animal life. Local authorities impose large fines for pollution. The carelessness of using inferior chemical storage containers, is often accompanied by negative press coverage.
Common Fertilizers and Pesticides for Golf Courses
Fertilizers for turf grass need a steady diet of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. The grading of fertilizers uses three numbers, representing the weight percentage of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium in the fertilizer. The three numbers should be easily visible on the front of the fertilizer bag.
Both liquid and granular fertilizers are popular to maintain the fertilizer diet needed to keep golf courses in good condition. Since they’re supplied in 50 lb. bags, granular fertilizer storage is done in large quantities, especially in the fall when the grass is strengthened to survive the cold winter months.
Liquid fertilizers contain a combination of nutrients in solution and these solutions can separate into layers if stored for long periods of time. Mixing should occur in a controlled space like the TURFloc locker where spills will be contained.
Fertilizer Storage Lockers for Mixing Chemicals and Long-term Storage
TURFloc and DRUMloc storage buildings from U.S. Chemicals Storage are ideal non-fire rated storage building for golf course applications. They are manufactured from heavy duty 12-guage steel with a durable chemical resistant epoxy coated finish.
TURFloc storage lockers provide built-in secondary containment, which is EPA compliant, to prevent spills from reaching the environment. Because pesticide and fertilizer storage is away from occupied buildings, there is no need for them to be fire rated, but always check local compliance standards.
- 29 CFR OSHA 1910.109(I) – Storage of ammonia nitrate
- Joint EPA-OSHA-ATF guidance – Chemical Advisory: Safe Storage, Handling, and Management of Ammonium Nitrate
- The National Fire Protection Association Hazardous Materials Code (NFPA 400) chapter 11 on ammonium nitrate
Contact U.S. Chemical Storage to learn more about fertilizer storage or to receive a complimentary quote. Our professional consultants can advise you on the best solution for your application as well as the regulatory requirements that are relevant to golf courses.
- U.S. Chemical Storage. Non fire rated storage
- U.S. Chemical Storage. TURFloc – Pesticide and Fertilizer Storage Buildings
- Golf Course Industry. Feeding time for your turf
- Penn State Extension. Turf grass fertilization
- OSHA. Fertilizer industry letter
- OSHA. Fertilizer industry guidance on storage and use of ammonium nitrate
- Insurance Journal. Par for the course: golf club premiums