Pacific Grove (Calif.) Municipal Golf Links Switches to Recycled Water

The city’s only municipal golf course has been using potable drinking water for irrigation, but is switching to recycled water this week after the opening of a new $8 million treatment facility. The facility diverts and treats raw sewage and stormwater, and the reclaimed water is stored in two existing tanks.

In a region starved for water, Pacific Grove, Calif., has been using drinking water on its Pacific Grove Municipal Golf Links, but that practice ended December 6, the Seaside, Calif.-based NPR affiliate, 90.3 KAZU reported.

The city’s only municipal golf course sits just steps from the ocean. Across the street is a cemetery, which is also run by the city. For decades, the lawns in both have been kept green with potable water, but this week, the city switched to recycled water, KAZU reported.

“Today is about the replacement of a resource with something sustainable,” City Manager Ben Harvey said.

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City officials and project leaders celebrated the opening of a new treatment facility located right near the golf course and cemetery. They held a ribbon cutting December 6. The facility, built and operated by PERC Water, diverts and treats raw sewage and storm water. The reclaimed water is stored in two existing tanks, KAZU reported.

The nearly $8 million project has been in the works for seven years. The plant is part of a larger effort to help private water provider California American Water reduce its reliance on the Carmel River, KAZU reported.

The new plant is also like an insurance policy for the golf course, said Mayor Bill Kampe. “During drought conditions the state always has the possibility of shutting down the use of potable water for outdoor landscape use,” Kampe said. “And that would basically shut the course down. And leave a lot of damage that would be hard to correct. So the golf course is a very important asset in the city and we want to make sure it stays in good shape.”

The plant will also provide toilet flushing water for two public restrooms. The amount of recycled water it produces is equal to the average yearly consumption of 317 households, KAZU reported.