Local News

Wilson's Waste Water Washes With Golfers

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WILSON — North Carolina will spend $4 million to help clean up the water people drink and swim in, and a big chunk of that money is headed to Wilson to reduce waste discharge into the Neuse.

Wilson is trying to get rid of excess treated waste water, or water that has already been through a purification process. Currently, it is simply dumped into rivers.

Treated wastewater is probably the last thing one thinks about on the golf course, but at Wilson's Wedgewood course, it will soon mean greener fairways and better golf. The city has just been awarded $800,000 to pump treated wastewater to the publicly-owned course. The greens and fairways will soak up about 500,000 gallons a day, cutting down on the amount the city dumps into Contentnea Creek.

Wedgewood Manager Tommy Smith says he's been to other areas that are considering this type of system.

For years, cities in Florida have used treated wastewater for everything from agriculture to washing cars. It doesn't smell bad, and it's safe as long as no one drinks it. The nutrients that can damage waterways actually improve Bermuda grass, so golfers nationwide are embracing the idea.

City workers keep a close eye on the treated waste-water to keep viruses and other contaminates out.

Wilson's Deputy City Manager, Charles Pittman, says the lab keeps a close watch on the treated water.

The city will use the money to add a pipeline from the waster water treatment plant to the golf course, about a half-mile away. A pond will hold the water and an automated water release system.