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TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND COUNCILMEMBERS
FROM: CITY MANAGER
DATE: SEPTEMBER 16, 2003
SUBJECT: RECYCLED WATER FOR GOLF COURSES
Consider whether or not to direct staff to arrange for testimony by experts regarding the safety and advisability of utilizing reclaimed water in various applications.
Joan Davidson has reported to Councilmember Gardiner that recycled water to be used for golf courses, and the like, is water that has only gone through the first stages of purification. As such, it still has bacteria and particulates in it. Councilmember Gardiner wants to know if this water is used to water a golf course, for example, or a park, what happens when the water evaporates? Does it leave the bacteria and particulates on the grass ready to be spread by the wind, etc? He has been informed that this is the case and that the material left behind when the water evaporates constitutes a potential health hazard.
Councilmember Gardiner asked City Staff if they had any information that addressed his questions. He wants to know if there is a potential health hazard in using reclaimed water or not. He has been advised that City staff does not feel qualified to provide conclusive responses to his questions. Therefore, Councilmember Gardiner has requested that the matter of the safety and advisability of the use of reclaimed water for golf course irrigation, and similar uses, be brought to the City Council to determine if there is any interest in hearing testimony from experts to answer the questions.
Based on the testimony of Ms. Davidson at the September 2, 2003 City Council meeting, she has been advised by experts that the use of recycled/reclaimed water is hazardous to public health. The Council may wish to hear testimony from the expert providing information to Ms. Davidson as well as an expert recommended by the West Basin Municipal Water District and one from the State Health Department. The Water District is a proponent of reclaimed water and the Health Department regulates the use of reclaimed water.