Efforts to conserve water by golf courses in arid parts of the country are a popular topic for local television news outlets. KOAT ABC in Albuquerque, N.M., recently highlighted the city’s savings of nearly 100 million gallons of water at its four golf courses, while KCRA-TV in Sacramento, Calif., reported on the increasing role of recycled water.
Water conservation at golf courses located in arid parts of the country has become a popular topic among local media outlets.
Albuquerque (N.M.)-based KOAT ABC reported that the city is taking a unique approach to keeping golf course grass green with less water, with the city’s golf course superintendent tasking supervisors with reducing water use.
“Do we need 100 percent capacity run for tonight, or can we reduce our use 5 percent, 10 percent? What do we need for the night? And that’s exactly the way they approached it,” Golf Course Superintendent David Salas said.
Combined, the four city golf courses have saved nearly 100 million gallons of water and nearly $200,000, officials told KOAT ABC.
“It helps us continue to put the money back into the golf course, helps us buy more equipment, more supplies,” Salas said.
KCRA-TV in Sacramento (Calif.) reported that recycled water is taking on new importance to keep the region’s parks, golf courses, and landscapes green while preserving potable water for drinking.
The Pleasant Grove Water Treatment Plant in Roseville sees seven million gallons of wastewater flow through the facility per day, KCRA-TV reported.
“Anything from your household facilities, your toilets, your faucets and showers, any business wastewater that comes down a drain comes here,” said Ken Glotzbach, General Manager of the Pleasant Grove Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The water is used to irrigate the region’s parks, golf courses and median landscaping. “Using reclaimed water for irrigation of our parks, golf courses, and landscape and medians helps preserve the potable water for our households and drinking”, said Glotzbach.
The raw sewage is first pumped into a building where it is filtered to remove large solids and debris. Special air filters contain the odor to minimize its effects on the surrounding community. The water is then pumped into a network of concrete ditches where bacteria feed on the organic materials. Larger cylinders agitate the water, adding oxygen to the relatively odor-free process, KCRA-TV reported.
“The conditions in the ditch, we are controlling the oxygen so that the bacteria that are working under those conditions don’t produce gases that smell bad to us,” said Glotzbach.
The water and bacteria flow into settling ponds where the solids sink to the bottom leaving clear water at the top. Some of the bacteria is pumped back into the treatment process, while the rest becomes solid waste that is trucked to the landfill. The remaining water goes through several more filters including one containing layers of sand, before it goes to the final step which disinfects it, KCRA-TV reported.
“We are using UV lamps to disinfect the water before it leaves the plant and goes out to our recycled water system or the creek,” said Glotzbach.
The water is now ready to be used, stored in holding tanks or diverted straight into the system when demand is high, KCRA-TV reported.
On a hot summer day, Glotzbach says it not uncommon for all seven million gallons of wastewater to be diverted straight out of the plant and into the reclaimed water system. When demand is not high, the recycled water is sent down the Pleasant Grove Creek, KCRA-TV reported.
The recycled water does not fall under the same drought guidelines allowing users to continue watering when others are facing deep cuts. Recycled water users also pay half of what it would cost to use potable water, KCRA-TV reported.
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