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WATER CONSERVATION is rapidly becoming a critical topic for Mayors, City Managers and other officials whose job it is to manage natural resources and assure its citizens of the availablity of both domestic and irrigation water. As the Southwest suffers through its fifth year of drought conditions, it is yet another reminder of how important planning for current and future water needs is. It is now obvious, and in many places already mandatory, that recycled water must be used for as many irrigation applications as possible, saving fresh water for domestic purposes.
The irony is that golf courses are typically the largest user or potential user of reclaimed water, and yet they are also the most sensitive to water quality issues. The health and appearance of golf courses dramatically impact both their real and perceived value, as well as the quality of play and the overall golf experience. Water chemistry problems common to effluent water can impose limitations on the use of wastewater for irrigating golf courses, sports fields and other green areas because soil always takes on the characteristics of the water it is irrigated with. Amending the effluent with gypsum can optimize water quality, minimizing or eliminating its negative impacts on turf, plants and soil over time. Simply put, better water creates better soil conditions, which ultimately improves overall growing conditions.
The most serious problems associated with irrigation water are sodium and bicarbonate content. Virtually every course already has an amendment program in place to deal with these elements. However, because soluble gypsum is logistically difficult to handle at the course level, water and soil amendment is generally accomplished with the use of sulfuric acid or sulfur burners.
Sulfuric acid is extremely dangerous to handle and, besides deteriorating any metal components it comes in contact with, it also exposes the municipality and/or golf course to a serious potential health liability. Sulfur burners are safer, but they are unsightly on the golf course and produce an annoying sulfur smell. By amending the effluent at a point nearest the source, all downstream users enjoy the benefit of improved water, and each one will also then enjoy the cost savings with a reduced acid treatment program. When considered together, these actual and potential savings will often minimize, or even completely offset, the cost of implementing a single calcium injection site upstream.

A major benefit for the Municipality is that improving wastewater quality encourages its reuse for turf, landscape and agricultural applications in general. At the same time, it serves to help the environment by reducing the amount of acid being used by treating the effluent with all-natural organic gypsum. Our gypsum injection program is made even more attractive by the ability of Wastewater Solutions to provide all of the equipment and operate the system at their own expense, billing the City only for the gypsum as it is used, together with a monthly service fee. No capital purchase is required! The Aqua-Ject® system is equally suited to new construction, or as an easy retrofit to existing treatment plants.

The Municipality then may choose to pass on this cost in the form of a higher selling price for the effluent water, or absorb the cost as a way to further encourage its use. At the end of the initial Supply Agreement, the municipality may choose to either terminate the program and have remove the equipment, purchase the installed Aqua-Ject® equipment and own it, or simply continue the program as a Service and Supply agreement for as long as desired. This is truly a win-win-win situation for the Municipality, the golf courses and the environment.

Wastewater Solutions personnel can put on a slide presentation for the local golf course superintendents, together with the City personnel involved with managing the wastewater treatment plant. We would be happy to sponsor a luncheon at a local restaurant or golf course as a convenient and casual forum to present the program and discuss its viability for implementation in your area.

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