Drought Having No Impact On Golf Courses That Use Reclaimed Wate - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Drought Having No Impact On Golf Courses That Use Reclaimed Water

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The ongoing drought means many homeowners and businesses will have to cut back on water use.  But that's not the case for some golf courses because they use reclaimed water to irrigate their grass and trees. Some have been using reclaimed water for years, including Sierra Sage Golf Course. They've irrigated their grass with it since 2000 but it's really paying off lately, as the drought lingers. 

"In a weather pattern like this, it's ultra important," Mike Mazzaferri, Lease Operator for Sierra Sage Golf Course said. "I think we would choose this water first over any other kind of water because it's a constant source."

The recycled water is stored a pond and is used to irrigate 140 acres with 600,000 gallons of water a day, during the summer. The so-called purple pipe water comes with environmental guidelines and doesn't meet drinking water standards.

"We're not supposed to water while golfers are present and it's non-potable water but it's really a high quality," Mazzaferri said.

Kirk Schwoyer is an avid golfer from Cold Springs. He says the course is in better shape than ever.

"I'm happy for it," Schwoyer said. "Everybody uses bathrooms. So, the water's go to go somewhere and it keeps the course green."

Nearly 1.4 million gallons of waste water are treated at the Stead Water Reclamation Facility. It is sent to the golf course and various parks through a pipeline in the Stead area. Excess water drains into a creek that leads to a small pond.

"It's all being used in the summertime," Robert Zoncki, Senior Operator for the Stead Water Reclamation Facility said. "So, the hotter it gets, we won't have anything going to the creek. So, it's all being used for re-use water and it's just saving that much more potable water."

This system creates a demand for reclaimed water that otherwise wouldn't be there. While it saves city water and ground water, it also helps recharge the aquifers.

"We're adding more water to the ground water situation and creating jobs, providing a recreation opportunity and it's a win-win," Mazzaferri said.   
Reclaimed water costs about 30% less than what we use in our homes. Mazzaferri says he expects more golf courses to start using it, as the drought continues.
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