News

Recycled-water irrigation coming to Menlo golf course

 

At a cost of $22.6 million, most of which is funded through a low-interest loan from the state's Clean Water State Revolving Fund, the West Bay Sanitary District has begun construction of a wastewater recycling facility on the grounds of the Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club in western Menlo Park.

When Phase 1 of the project is completed at the end of the summer in 2019, the facility will be providing the golf course with the means to replace some 400,000 gallons of Hetch-Hetchy system potable water that it uses every day with recycled water, the sanitary district said in a statement.

The recycling facility can easily produce 500,000 gallons a day and up to 900,000 gallons a day on a short-term basis, West Bay District Manager Phil Scott said.

Phase 2 of the project involves how to make use of that excess. The district is in talks with the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory as a potential customer for irrigation water and water for its cooling towers during winter months and other non-peak irrigation periods for the golf course, Scott said.

"But an agreement with (SLAC) could take some time," Scott said in an email. "Another option for Phase 2 is to look at some of the Homeowner Associations nearby to see if recycled water would fit their irrigation needs."

"This is the first public recycled water system in Menlo Park," Fran Dehn, a member of the sanitary district's governing board, said in the statement. "We're proud to implement this project, which will conserve the state's most valuable resource and benefit all of Menlo Park."

The district has also done a feasibility study for putting a treatment facility near Bedwell Bayfront Park to produce up to 1 million gallons of recycled water per day, the statement said. Another project being planned would provide recycled water for eastern Menlo Park in a partnership with Facebook.

"Investing in recycled water now can (ensure) more stable water prices and more secure water delivery in the future," Scott said.

'As green as they come'

The sanitary district provides wastewater collection and transport services to Menlo Park, Atherton and Portola Valley as well as parts of East Palo Alto, Woodside and unincorporated areas in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

Crews recently broke ground for the golf course recycling facility in a dedicated easement along Sand Hill Road near the northbound on-ramp at Interstate 280. In addition to that facility – which will have a "very small footprint," Scott said – a pipeline will run along Sand Hill Road, and work has begun on a pump station along Sand Hill in the vicinity of a frontage-road intersection with Oak Avenue.

Project financing includes a $5.3 million grant from the state. The golf course will repay the $17.3 million loan the district received from the state, Scott said.

The golf course's participation in the financing makes the enterprise neutral to ratepayers and will mean more potable water available in dry years, Scott said. It's not practical for the golf course to rely on well water, and the price of potable water is expected to climb "very high and very fast," he said, citing Menlo Park's Urban Water Management Plan.

The project "is as green ... as they come," Scott said. "We're treating the raw wastewater as a resource and recovering it and reusing it," he said in the email. "We're not just sending it all to the treatment plant in Redwood City, treating it and sending it out to the Bay to the fish who don't want it and never asked for it."

--

Sign up for Almanac Express to get news updates. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by C Cruickshank
a resident of another community
on Dec 9, 2018 at 7:33 am

A big step in the right direction. It's about time! Hopefully Stanford and it's golf course and irrigation needs will jump on this and stop taking from the water starved San Francisquito Creek watershed.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Downtown Redwood City gets Japanese kaiseki restaurant
By Elena Kadvany | 0 comments | 2,953 views

Couples: Child Loss, "No U-Turn at Mercy Street"
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,411 views

Which Cocktail Has the Least Calories?
By Laura Stec | 10 comments | 1,196 views

UCSB's CCS program
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 0 comments | 185 views