SLO City parks to use recycled water



What you flush down your toilet may soon be used to irrigate local parks--after thorough wastewater treatment, of course.

Following in the maintenance footsteps of local parks--like the Damon Garcia Sports Complex on Broad Street--representatives with the City of San Luis Obispo Public Works Department said that the body is planning to use recycled water at more recreational areas to help satisfy landscaping needs.

"It's the intelligent thing do," Todd Beights, the SLO City park maintenance supervisor, said of using recycled water at local parks. "This isn't frightening, evil, diseased-riddled, Third World water we're throwing out there. It poses no health concerns and exceeds treatment guidelines. The most appealing thing about this water is that it's a drought-proof supply. This water will remain a constant source to use."

Beights anticipates that the city will soon begin using recycled water at Laguna Hills Park, Laguna Lake Park, French Park, Islay Hill Park, and DeVaul Ranch Park.

He added that the cost of treatment water is about the same as that for regular, potable water. But unlike normal water, the treated H2O may provide a little something extra.

"If anything, we're getting free nitrogen on our turf," Beights said. "I look at it as free fertilizer."

Beights said that he's been approached by concerned citizens who question whether the water will have a negative impact on their dogs if they drink it.

One local dog owner says he's not scared about bringing his pups to a park that uses recycled water.

"If dogs eat and roll around in poo, why does it matter if they are drinking treated water?" asked Andrew Sanchez, who calls his two dogs, Jazz and Mack, his kids. "If treated water is the most environmentally friendly and effective way to help, then I support treated water being used at a dog park."

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