Dodge City utilizes wastewater for irrigation on courses and crops

Local

DODGE CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – For years, depleting groundwater levels have been a concern for many in the western part of the state. In Dodge City, officials are working to conserve the resource.

Dodge City’s natural water source is fed through the Ogallala Aquifer. To help get the most out of that use, the city utilizes water reuse.

The city has two water treatment facilities where billions of gallons of wastewater coming in, are 100% recycled, treated, and reused for irrigation. 

The North Water Reclamation Facility treats domestic flow and can recycle up to 1.25 million gallons of wastewater a day.

The South Wastewater Treatment Plant handles primarily industrial waste and can recycle nearly 1.7 billion gallons of effluent a year.

“The city of Dodge City has taken progressive steps in the past to be good stewards of the environment and reuse that precious source that is somewhat finite,” said Tanner Rutschman, Dodge City City Engineer.

The initiative has supported Mariah Hills Golf Course for nearly a decade.

The course’s $1.6 million irrigation system is fed with free wastewater from the north facility, conserving water and saving money on electricity from pumping out of the ground.

“Since we’ve been using the wastewater, we’ve actually saved over 200 million gallons of water that we haven’t had to pump out of the ground,” said Matt Lowery, Mariah Hills Golf Course Superintendent.

The wastewater provides nutrients and has improved the quality of the course. Ultimately limiting the need for commercial fertilizers as well as the purchasing of additional water rights.

“We’re only allowed so much from the state out of the ground and we would use all of that. The wastewater has been a huge benefit,” said Lowery.

Along with the irrigation of the golf course, the wastewater from the south plant supports 3,000 acres of farmland.

In the future, the city hopes to expand supply water to athletic fields and park grounds.

For more information on the water facilities, click here.

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