Article courtesy of Dana Bartholomew | February 6, 2015 | Los Angeles Daily News | Shared as educational material
Treated sewage water arched over Hansen Dam Golf Course on Friday as city officials cracked a new spigot delivering toilet to Titleist.
Los Angeles expects to save 170 million gallons of drinking water each year by spraying recycled San Fernando Valley sewage water across the Pacoima links. That’s enough water to sate 1,000 households.
“The directive to create a more water-wise Los Angeles is one of the most important challenges we face,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said during a news conference below the four-par 11th hole. “We offer incentives for homeowners to unturf their yards. But today we’re going to change how we do it in our yards, right here in Hansen Dam, to look at what we can do … to bring recycled water to our city facilities.”
In response to the fourth year of the worst state drought on record, Garcetti set a goal of cutting water use across the city 20 percent by 2017. To do that, he’s directed the city to use recycled sewage water to irrigate 85 percent of the city’s public golf courses.
The so-called “purple pipe” system now sends treated recycled water to irrigate 1,000 acres at 13 public golf courses. The city plans for new purple lines to connect Roosevelt and Harbor golf courses in Griffith Park and San Pedro by 2017.
A nearly mile-long purple pipe some 20 inches thick was built to carry treated water from the LADWP Valley Generating Station to the Hansen Dam Golf Course.
The $12.5-million line extends a purple pipe system that had run from the Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant in the Sepulveda Basin to the DWP steam-generating plant in Pacoima.
The purple spigot at Hansen Dam brings the use of recycled water on public golf courses to 76 percent.
“We have plenty of water at Tillman,” said Mario Acevedo, the DWP manager for water recycling. “If we don’t use the water, it’s going to be wasted out in the ocean. And the (potable) water we save on the golf course can now be used by ratepayers.”
To save more water, the city plans to capture more stormwater runoff and to expand to residential construction the environmental rules that require commercial builders to save more water.
Conservation measures since 2007 at L.A. parks have cut 2.4 billion gallons of water use, much of it through recycled water. This year, the Department of Recreation and Parks is poised to save three times as much water as it used last year, officials said Friday.
“In the past, we looked at water as a challenge,” said Mike Shull, general manager of the parks department. “But we’re beginning to embrace our climate and environment.”
“It’s not just about cleaning water; it’s providing more water for the region,” added Mark Gold, director of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. “We’re seeing the city leading by example.”