The process of reusing wastewater for sprinkling at the Sugar Hill Golf Course in Gwinnett County, Georgia, was time consuming, costly and problematic. Discharge from the local wastewater treatment plant was chemically treated and stored in a lake until needed for watering the golf course.
Chlorine gas, the main method of disinfection, proved to be unreliable and sometimes dangerous due to accidental overdosing. One chlorine upset killed fish in the storage lake and caused the normally lush, green links to turn brown.
When an in-line ultraviolet disinfection unit from Aquionics Inc., of Erlanger, Kentucky, was installed at the treatment plant in 1997, initial bacterial counts showed a 99 percent kill rate, allowing the county to eliminate chlorine use. The inherent characteristics of ultraviolet disinfection minimize the threat of overdosing, and service and maintenance costs also were cut, because the disinfection system is automatic and requires minimal upkeep.
No more fish kills have been reported, and golf course greens keepers have not found any more problems with the water.