Wastewater, golf interface on tap again

A consultant’s report on use of reclaimed wastewater effluent, including impacts on golf courses, is set for review and possible action next week by Carson City’s Utility Financial Oversight Committee.

Committee work begins Tuesday in a meeting at 9 a.m. in the Community Center’s Sierra Room, 851 E. William St.

City government provides the effluent to golf courses for watering in warm months, but in recent years has come up short each summer, which meant potable water went to those courses at a cost of up to $290,000. The report from Manhard Consulting Ltd. in Carson City includes three alternatives to pay the freight while the shortage of treated effluent continues.

“With the understanding that the current reclaimed water shortage will continue into the future, it is important to review alternatives to solving the shortage challenge,” stated a Manhard document for the Public Works Department that will undergo committee review.

The report provided three options: absorb the cost, which ranges from $69,000 to $290,000 annually, in the wastewater budget by reducing the capital improvement plan; implement a previously-reviewed commodity charge of a dime per 1,000 gallons, charging reclaimed users to partially offset costs; or implement a higher commodity charge to cover the full cost involved.

Actually, it isn’t just the public and private golf courses that are involved, though their interest seems keen due to need for summer watering. State prison farms also use the water, and are first in line for it, with Empire Ranch, Eagle Valley and Silver Oak golf complexes behind those farm lands in exercising rights to the effluent when it’s available.

The utility financial oversight panel, charged with being budget watchdogs regarding use of recently boosted revenues from higher sewer and water rates, will not only review the Manhard report but could take action prior the document moving on the Board of Supervisors. Board members appointed the oversight panel to monitor Public Works Department expenditures of the ratepayers’ revenue contribution and whether decisions about them make sense.


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