Reporting Jason Allen
EULESS (CBSDFW.COM) – At Texas Star Golf Course in Euless, every golf ball is landing on a green fairway. Every putt is rolling true on bright greens. In the middle of a historic drought with water restrictions, the course has found a way to keep conditions perfect.
They’re even doing it while using temperature and drought sensitive bent grass on greens, instead of the more durable but also coarser Bermuda.
A small sign though as you drive toward the bag drop, tells you how they’re keeping it from drying out. It is reclaimed water now soaking the course daily, up to a million gallons of it.
Water that goes down the drain in your home, or is flushed down the toilet, is now being used to water the course. It’s coming from a $16.2 million pipeline, paid for primarily through Recovery Act funds, that started running at full capacity in August.
The 11.5 mile line runs between Fort Worth’s Village Creek water treatment plant and DFW airport. The plant usually dumps about 110-million gallons a day of treated water into the Trinity River.
Now about two million gallons is being diverted for irrigation at the golf course, parks, and even to gas companies.
Chesapeake Energy became the first retail customer last month, to use for fracking gas wells. “This water’s drought proof,” said Mary Gugliuzza from Fort Worth’s water department. “There’s no restrictions in times of drought on how much, or how they can use this water.”
The current system can be handle up to 12 million gallons a day. Upgrading to larger pumps could expand capacity to 18 million gallons.
“The timing couldn’t have been better,” said Betsy Deck from the city of Euless. “We were able to turn on the water three weeks ago, just in time for the watering restrictions.”
Reclaimed water has been used for decades in other states. Gugliuzza said the cost of infrastructure here, and a need to secure interested customers delayed expanded use of the water in the metroplex.
The system could eventually be used in residential areas she said, if developers are willing to put in the pipelines.