OCEAN PINES – A community meeting regarding spray irrigation at the Ocean Pines Golf Course has been set for March.
Following citizen concerns regarding a county proposal to explore using effluent from the Ocean Pines Wastewater Treatment Plant to irrigate the golf course, county officials have worked with the Ocean Pines Association to set up a town hall meeting for March 12.
“We tentatively scheduled a town hall on March 12 with our partners at Worcester County, when county officials will speak on the proposal and answer questions from the public,” said OPA General Manager John Viola Wednesday. “We believe this is an important subject and worthy of public discussion.”
In January, the Worcester County Commissioners approved the Ocean Pines Water and Wastewater Advisory Board’s request to evaluate the possibility of using effluent to irrigate the golf course. County staff have reported success in using effluent at other golf courses, including River Run, Glen Riddle and Eagle’s Landing. Public Works Director John Tustin said irrigating the Pines course with effluent would have practical and environmental benefits, as it would cut discharges into the Saint Martin’s River and reduce the use of groundwater for irrigation.
OPA officials met with the advisory board earlier this month to learn more about the proposal. They were advised that a $25,000 preliminary study would be the first step. If funding for that is approved in the coming year’s budget, the study could occur after the start of the fiscal year. After that, the county would look for grants and/or bond money to overhaul the existing irrigation system at the golf course.
“We’re in favor of the county doing a feasibility study and look forward to reviewing the results,” Viola said. “Everything at this point is in the exploratory phase and nothing has been decided.”
Commissioner Chip Bertino agreed. He’s hopeful that residents will get their questions answered at the March 12 meeting.
“I think it’s important for people to understand exactly what is being discussed and to be educated about the process,” Bertino said.