Santa Fe golf courses temporarily close after water problem

July 2, 2019 GMT

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Santa Fe golf courses and athletic fields have closed temporarily after the treated wastewater used for irrigation was found unsafe for public watering.

The Santa Fe City Council voted Monday to spend between $60,000 and $110,000 on irrigating the turf with drinking water.

The city-owned Marty Sanchez Links de Santa Fe golf course and the athletic fields at the Municipal Recreation Complex closed last week, as well as the privately-owned Santa Fe Country Club.

The city stopped delivery of all treated effluent after a routine test showed the water contained levels of biological matter, including contaminants such as E. coli, above state limits.


The treatment plant experienced an “upset” sometime between June 19 and June 22, said Shannon Jones, director of the city Public Utilities Department.

“The wastewater treatment plan is a biological process where we use microscopic organisms to treat the wastewater and when they get out of balance, they don’t perform in the way that we would expect them to achieve the removals that we need,” Jones told the council.

The specific cause of the water problem was not immediately known.

The city is working to get levels back into compliance, but the process could take up to a week, Jones said. The city-owned properties were getting about 20% of their normal irrigation amounts as of Monday.

The Santa Fe Country Club has not been able to water the course since June 22, general manager David Nowell told the Santa Fe New Mexican .

“The golf course is drying out, and we’re afraid more golf traffic would actually do some irreparable damage,” Nowell said.