Santa Clara County

Recycled water gains popularity in Gilroy

Recycled water more popular in Gilroy

GILROY, Calif. - Recycled water has been in use for nearly 40 years in south Santa Clara County, but with the drought consuming California, the demand is high and business is booming.

NewsChannel 5 reporter Jake Reiner visited Eagle Ridge Golf Club in Golroy to find out more about how the process works.

Eagle Ridge is something of a rarity. Only 14 percent of golf courses in America use recycled water. 

The company that provides recycled water for the golf course is currently working on ways to expand its coverage in order to meet the growing demand.

It's a complex process that begins at a 3 million-gallon storage reservoir, and the water flows through multiple filtration systems and eventually winds up at the golf course.

"It's useful in the fact that we're not pulling ground water," said Brian McCrae, superintendent at Eagle Ridge.

The golf club needs nearly 500,000 gallons of water per day and the only place to get it is from the South County Regional Wastewater Authority.

"We are stretching the capacity of our system because there is really more demand out there," said senior engineer Saeid Vaziry.

The drought demand -- from agriculture to golf courses -- has forced the wastewater authority to expand its coverage to cover more of Morgan Hill. As it stands now, this facility accounts for 25 percent of total water production in Santa Clara County.

"So for every drop you don't use the drinking water and you replace it with recycled water -- that's how much drinking water is available for the public to use," said Vaziry.

McCrae says that for the golf course, the only potential issue is the amount of salt.

"As we get into August and September, the salt starts to build up in the soil (and) it becomes more of an issue, but its manageable," he said.

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