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Pacific Grove Stops Using Potable Water On Golf Course Thanks To New Water Factory

In a region starved for water, Pacific Grove has been using drinking water on its public golf course. That practice ends today.

Pacific Grove’s only municipal golf course sits just steps from the ocean. Across the street is a cemetery. It’s also run by the city. For decades, the lawns in both have been kept green with potable water. This week the city switches to recycled water.

“Today is about the replacement of a resource with something sustainable,” Pacific Grove City Manager Ben Harvey says.

City officials and project leaders celebrated the opening of a new treatment facility located right near the golf course and cemetery. They held a ribbon cutting Wednesday.

The facility,  built and operated by PERC Water, diverts and treats raw sewage and storm water. The reclaimed water is stored in two existing tanks.

The nearly $8 million project has been in the works for seven years. The plant is part of a larger effort to help private water provider California American Water reduce its reliance on the Carmel River.

Pacific Grove Mayor Bill Kampe says the new plant is also like an insurance policy for the golf course.

“During drought conditions the state always has the possibility of shutting down the use of potable water for outdoor landscape use. And that would basically shut the course down. And leave a lot of damage that would be hard to correct. So the golf course is a very important asset in the city and we want to make sure it stays in good shape,” Mayor Kampe says.

The plant will also provide toilet flushing water for two public restrooms. The amount of recycled water it produces is equal to the average yearly consumption of 317 households.