Since 2002, New Kent Public Utilities has provided millions of gallons of treated, non-potable wastewater effluent to Colonial Downs Racetrack and Brickshire Golf Course for irrigation each summer, under permit from DEQ. Renovations to the Parham Landing Wastewater Treatment Plant included the construction of a new reclaimed water system, allowing Royal New Kent Golf Course to be added to the customer base.
Between June and September 2011, the first summer of operation for the new reclaimed water line, 17 million gallons of reclaimed water was provided for irrigation, representing 75% of New Kent County's effluent from the wastewater treatment plant. As a result, significantly fewer nutrients were discharged to the Chesapeake Bay during this time period, and an equivalent amount of potable ground water was conserved for future use.
The provision of reclaimed water conserves potable groundwater for the most beneficial use (drinking water), while reducing the nutrient load discharged to the Chesapeake Bay watershed. As the growth of New Kent County leads to the production of more wastewater to be treated, the reclaimed water program will expand to provide a source of low cost, non-potable water for existing and prospective industrial and irrigation customers in the County.
Approximately 90% of the funding for the Parham Landing Reclaimed Water System construction was provided through the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.