Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Plant City's Walden Lake course to use reclaimed water

PLANT CITY — The Walden Lake Golf & Country Club is getting more environmentally conscientious when it comes to water usage.

The 36-hole country club in the city's southwest end is set to join more than a dozen golf courses in Hillsborough County that irrigate with reclaimed water instead of groundwater pumped from the aquifer.

"We decided to do this from a goodwill standpoint," general manager and part-owner Steve Mercer said. "We wanted to be good neighbors."

Starting Monday, workers will begin digging a trench to run a pipeline from the city's treatment plant at Victoria Avenue and Plant Street to the golf course 2 1/2 miles away. The 10-month project is expected to cost $4.5 million, with half of that coming from a Southwest Florida Water Management District grant.

"The big picture here is that we're using reclaimed water in areas that otherwise would be drawing from other sources of high-quality water," city utilities director Frank Coughenour said.

The city will charge a fee to pump water to the course. Mercer said the cost will be equivalent to what the course pays now in electricity and maintenance to pump groundwater to storage ponds.

"It also has the potential to help if we have a really bad drought," he said.

The city has tried to boost reclaimed water usage since opening its treatment facility in 1997.

Currently, two main sites receive the water — the Mike E. Sansone Community Park, where it irrigates ballfields, and the fertilizer company CF Industries, which receives 2 million gallons daily for its processing plant, Coughenour said.

The biggest obstacle to expansion so far has been the cost to lay pipes. One reason the city chose to install a 24-inch wide PVC pipeline to the golf course, instead of a smaller line, is to have the option to expand to the city's western portions, Coughenour said. The golf course will receive roughly 375,000 gallons a day.

Reclaimed water, essentially treated wastewater, is not permitted for drinking, bathing or most crop irrigation, but is suitable for lawns, ornamental shrubs and industrial purposes. Already, 14 Hillsborough golf courses and dozens of planned developments use the water.

A common misconception is that it contains properties conducive to growing plants. Officials said the main benefit is that it's an alternative to ground-water pumping.

"When the city approached us we thought it made sense," Mercer said. "As long as it didn't cost us anything we thought, 'why not?' "

Coughenour said the pipeline will zig-zag along local roads, including Woodrow Wilson Street, Airport Road and Sydney Road.

Workers will start near Oak Avenue and Risk and Lemon streets, working their way north to avoid problems when classes resume in the fall at Bryan Elementary School and Tomlin Middle School. After that, the crews will head south toward the golf course. The project is supposed to be finished in May 2013.

Rich Shopes can be reached at (813) 661-2454 or rshopes@tampabay.com.

Plant City's Walden Lake course to use reclaimed water 07/19/12 [Last modified: Thursday, July 19, 2012 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Will Brad Culpepper win it all on Wednesday's 'Survivor' finale?

    The Feed

    Heading into Wednesday's finale of Survivor: Game Changers, former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Brad Culpepper said his fans need to know there are still plays to make before the end zone.

    "The Tables Have Turned" - Brad Culpepper, Tai Trang and Hali Ford on the fourth episode of SURVIVOR: Game Changers on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Jeffrey Neira/CBS Entertainment
  2. Forecast: Dry, muggy conditions for Tampa Bay before severe storms, possible tornadoes arrive ahead of cold front

    Weather

    Tampa Bay residents can expected a muggy, dry day Tuesday ahead of a cold front and a string of severe storms slated to arrive late Wednesday.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  3. Islamic State group claims responsibility for Manchester blast after Ariana Grande concert

    Public Safety

    MANCHESTER, England — The Islamic State group says one of its members planted bombs in the middle of crowds in Manchester, England, where 22 people died in an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in the city.

    Emergency services work at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England Monday, May 22, 2017. Several people have died following reports of an explosion Monday night at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England, police said. A representative said the singer was not injured.  [Peter Byrne | PA via AP]
  4. Five recipe ideas for cooking with sparkling wine

    Cooking

    With high school and college graduation season upon us, you might find yourself stocking up on sparkling wine (if you don't normally). Though the obvious choice is to drink it all, you may find yourself with leftovers after all the parties are over. These five recipe ideas will use up that grad-friendly bubbly so …

    Sparkling Wine Risotto takes risotto up a notch.