Sharp Park GC Switches to Recycled Water

Sharp Park Golf Course, one of six courses in the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department’s portfolio, will no longer rely on the Hetch Hetchy reservoir and water system, which is the Bay Area’s main source of drinking water, to irrigate its greens and keep its fairways clean, the San Francisco Examiner reported.

City-owned Sharp Park is now on recycled water that is being delivered to the seaside golf course, located in Pacifica, Calif., just south of San Francisco, from a wastewater recycling plant at nearby Calera Creek, officials announced on October 27, the Examiner reported.

Sharp Park features an historic Alister MacKenzie design and over the past several years has been involved with environmental controversies involving endangered species that have threatened its closing, as reported regularly by C&RB.

Of San Francisco’s six public golf courses, both TPC Harding Park— which has hosted PGA Tour events—and Sharp Park are now using nonpotable water, the Examiner reported, to help conserve water as the California drought enters its fourth year.

Recycled water will eventually be available throughout the western side of San Francisco, cleaned and made ready to use again at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC)’s wastewater treatment plant near the San Francisco Zoo, the Examiner reported. That project could be completed in the next few years, officials said.

But in the meantime, water-use restrictions that have been put in effect during the drought are not going away anytime soon. All city departments are under strict instructions to cut water use by 10 percent.

Municipal use is a tiny amount of the city’s total, the Examiner reported, accounting for about 5 percent of the roughly 65 million to 70 million gallons of water used in San Francisco per day, according to the SFPUC, which manages the city’s water.

Last winter, Mayor Ed Lee asked all water users in San Francisco to cut water use by 10 percent.

Thus far, after a slow start, the Examiner reported that both water customers in San Francisco and the SFPUC’s other customers throughout the Bay Area, including San Jose and Palo Alto, are hitting that goal, data shows.

Switching to recycled water has helped the Recreation and Park Department, San Francisco’s biggest municipal user, cut its water use by 15 percent, according to data presented as part of the Sharp Park announcement.

Seven years ago, the city’s golf courses used 176,808 cubic feet of water, the Examiner reported. That’s been reduced by half, to 86,701 cubic feet, in the fiscal year that ended in June, according to SFPUC data.

While no municipal user citywide uses as much water as Rec and Park, nobody has cut their water use more, it was noted.

The department has cut its water use by 15 percent, from 683,517 cubic feet from January to September 2013 to 579,351 cubic feet over that same time period this year. One cubic foot of water equals 7.48 gallons.

San Francisco’s four other golf courses, including one at Golden Gate Park and at Lincoln Park, rely on a combination of potable water and groundwater, the Examiner reported.

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