Golf Course Spray Irrigation Project Weighed

SNOW HILL – Worcester County continues to evaluate the possibility of spray irrigation at the Ocean Pines Golf Course.

The Worcester County Commissioners last week voted unanimously to hire a Frederick company to handle the evaluation of irrigation system replacement at the Ocean Pines Golf Course. Since last year, county officials have been exploring the possibility of using effluent from the Ocean Pines Wastewater Treatment Plant to irrigate the golf course.

“I think this is a great project,” Commissioner Jim Bunting said.

John Ross, the county’s deputy director of public works, told the commissioners his department had solicited bids from vendors who designed golf course irrigation systems. After reviewing the bids, he recommended the county hire Hydro Designs Inc. out of Frederick at a cost of $8,800. The county had $25,000 budgeted for the work.

“Prices came in relatively reasonable in my mind,” Ross said.

He added that Hydro Designs had done other projects on the Eastern Shore, including work at Glen Riddle Golf Club, and that staff had interviewed company representatives.

“Our recommendation is to select them to do the evaluation of the golf course for application of wastewater,” Ross said.

When asked how the cost of a new irrigation system would be covered, Ross said that had not yet been determined. He added, however, that the Ocean Pines Association would be responsible in one way or another. He said the cost could be added to water and sewer bills, to the association’s annual assessment or even to rates at the golf course.

“That has not been anything that’s been determined at this particular point,” he said.

Commissioner Chip Bertino stressed that countywide, taxpayers as a whole would not foot the cost.

“The rest of the county would not be paying for this,” he said. “I wanted to make sure of that.”

Ross said the county might also want to look at a new irrigation system as a potential environmental project, as it might be eligible for some grant funding in that regard.

“It’s an improvement to one of the assets of the Ocean Pines Association but it’s also an environmental project because we’re going to reduce the need to pull water out of the aquifer, we’re going to reduce the amount of nutrients going into the river,” Ross said.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.