Grey water plan for golf links funded

Looking south at Chisholm Links, Dunedin. Photo: Gregor Richardson.
Looking south at Chisholm Links, Dunedin. Photo: Gregor Richardson.
The possibility of using grey water on a golf course should spark an "interesting debate" Otago Regional Council chief executive Peter Bodeker says.

Chisholm Links has been granted $12,000, plus GST, to undertake a pre-feasibility study looking at using treated effluent on the course instead of Dunedin’s potable supply.

"I think the key part of it [the debate] may be how we use grey water in a public place," Mr Bodeker said.

"The community needs to have that conversation."

The golf course is on city council-owned reserve land, but is leased by the club.

The club has been discussing for the past few years accessing grey water, treated water from the nearby Tahuna wastewater treatment plant.

In 2013, then Chisholm Links golf pro, now Dunedin city councillor Andrew Whiley, said when the council wanted to put the Tahuna outfall pipe under the golf course, the club agreed on the basis of a verbal agreement that in the future the club would be able to use some of the treated water from the plant to water the course.

The idea was that a tank would be installed nearby to hold the grey water, which would require a little further treatment before it could be used on the course. The system would reduce demand on the city water supply, especially in drought-risk conditions, and could also be used to water other playing fields and parks and by the community.

Grey water usage was common on golf courses internationally.

A Chisholm Links spokesman said the club wanted to find out what it would cost to re-treat the water to make a viable source to irrigate grass.

The study was something the club would get on with as soon as it could.

While it was "early days", the project could benefit the club because less fertiliser would be needed, as the grey water would add fertiliser.

The course needed a lot of water, and at the moment the club could only afford to water the greens and the tees.

However, the most important aspect of the project was recycling a resource there to be used.

The club was required to report to the regional council after a year as a condition of the grant.

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