Fairfax to use purified sewage to water golf course

Geese: Not the only ones defecating on golf courses anymore. (Flickr/slgckgc)

It used to be that, if something smelled rotten in Virginia, you knew the cause: trash hauled in from 24 states. Now, though, it could be coming from a local golf course. (Probably not, but humor us for a moment.)


Fairfax County has developed a system to purify sewage, pump it through a three-mile pipeline, and spray 25 million gallons onto the Laurel Hill Golf Course in Lorton. Another 700 million gallons of the treated water will be used for a cooling system at a waste-to-energy facility. The $17 million project, $6.5 million of which came from the feds, will make the county the largest provider of treated wastewater in Northern Virginia.

Reusing treated sewage is common in water-deprived states like Texas and California; one Texas town even turned its sewage into drinking water. Perhaps we're not ready to go that far, but it's nice to see our piss and bowel movements being recycled for one of the world's most environmentally destructive sports.