With Ponds, Golf Course Going 'Green'

Article excerpt

Golfers at Grand View Golf Club in North Braddock might find the 18-hole course more challenging next year, when three ponds are added near hole No. 15.

The ponds aren't being installed as golfing obstacles, but they will benefit the course: They will be part of an acid mine drainage project to recycle water for the greens.

The acid mine drainage project is one of 12 projects the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority completed or has planned to remove streams from the authority's sewer system, usually by diverting them to natural bodies of water, Alcosan spokeswoman Nancy Barylak said.

The streams annually contribute millions of gallons of water that take up capacity in Alcosan's sewer system. They also add debris, cause sewer overflows and require treatment, she said.

The projects are named after streams or the areas in which they are located.

The North Braddock project involving Grand View, named Dooker Hollow after the stream being polluted, would divert at least 50 million gallons of acid mine water that flow annually from a hillside on the golf course into Alcosan's system. A Water Quality Management permit is needed from the state Department of Environmental Protection before the work can begin, Barylak said.

Alcosan plans to lead a project to build the three ponds. Two will be used to treat the water, and one will hold treated, clean water for irrigation at the golf course, said Jason Batchelor, golf course superintendent. Any unused, treated water will flow through a pipe into the Monongahela River.

"It's very unusual -- the reuse of the water. Normally you're trying to remove it from the sewer system, but to be able to reuse it and recycle it ... that's got environmental written all over it," said Jan Oliver, Alcosan director of regional conveyance.

The Dooker Hollow project is estimated to cost $992,000, funded with $529,000 from Alcosan; a $417,500 Growing Greener grant from the state Department of Environmental Protection; a $39,000 Community Development Block Grant North Braddock received from Allegheny County Economic Development; and $6,000 from the borough.

It will include installing a pipe to collect acid mine water runoff from a hillside now flowing onto Wolfe Avenue, borough Manager Douglas Marguriet said. …