PACIFICA -- It seemed like a no-brainer to water the Sharp Park Golf Course with treated, recycled wastewater and save up to 50 million gallons of pristine Hetch Hetchy drinking water each year. 

But the shovel-ready project, which had $2.4 million in federal stimulus funds available for construction, was delayed for two years over a wildlife controversy. Now a vote by the San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission has removed the final hurdle to the $8 million project, which will break ground next month.

San Francisco has committed $4.8 million to the construction of a pump station, a water-storage tank, and three miles of distribution piping that will carry the treated water from Pacifica's Calera Creek Water Recycling Plant to the golf course nearby.

The North Coast County Water District, which serves Pacifica, kicked in another $1.6 million, according to water district General Manager Kevin O'Connell. "It's time to put the pedal to the metal," O'Connell said.

Some environmental groups have lobbied hard against plans to upgrade the San Francisco-owned 18-hole golf course, given that its lagoon supports a threatened population of California red-legged frogs and San Francisco garter snakes. Advocates say the chosen course of action, which includes enlarging the lagoon, will not solve the basic flooding problems on the golf course and subsequent loss of species each year.


Posted by Steve Sinai