In a project that should be complete by 2016, the county-owned, Riverhead, N.Y., golf course will receive gray water from the adjacent Riverhead Sewer Plant once it upgrades its treatment facilities.
In 2016, treated effluent from the Riverhead Sewer Plant will be re-used to irrigate the golf course at Indian Island Country Club, which is owned by Suffolk County in Riverhead, N.Y., in a project that has been planned since 2004, the Riverhead (N.Y.) News-Review reported.
The Riverhead Town Board is planning to sign an inter-municipal agreement with the county to allow the town workers to go on the county land and hook into the existing irrigation system on the course, according to town sewer district superintendent Michael Reichel. County officials have already signed the agreement, the News-Review reported.
The cost of this project is included within the whole $24 million upgrade of the town’s sewer system, a project that began last April and is expected to be done in 2016, said Reichel. The county contributed just over $8 million to that project, the News-Review reported.
“The idea is to reduce nitrogen loading going into the Peconic Estuary in order to have a beneficial reuse next door,” Reichel said. The sewer plant discharges treated effluent into the Peconic system at an outfall pipe. Nitrogen has frequently been identified as one of the causes of surface water degradation, and has been blamed in the past for algal blooms on the East End, the News-Review reported.
“This is such a great idea,” Councilman Jim Wooten said during a discussion on the plan at Monday’s work session. “It’s going to be copied all over the place.”
The golf course won’t get all the effluent, commonly called “gray water,” Reichel said. Officials expected about 350,000 gallons per day of effluent to be diverted from the river, of the approximately 800,000 gallons per days that is discharged in total, Reichel said.
In the past, the town’s sewage treatment plant didn’t treat sewage effluent at a level high enough to allow the treated water to be used on the golf course, Reichel said, but once the upgrade is completed, it will be at a level safe for irrigation, the News-Review reported.
“The treated effluent will actually be cleaner than the groundwater there, because that water is high in iron,” Reichel said.
The town will need to bore about 1,000 feet onto the golf course to connect with the existing irrigation pipes, and it also plans to install a shed with controls for the project in it, which will be maintained by the town, the News-Review reported.
“This is a great project for the East End,” Reichel said. “It’s a trend setter. There’s nothing else like it on Long Island.”