By Nick Pelchar
The Town of Purcellville has a tremendous opportunity to provide recreation, the reclamation of used water, the recharge of town wells, increase revenue and to lessen environmental impacts on Catoctin Creek with a par three golf course.
Proffers from the annexations of Locust Grove (1992) and Hirst Farm (2001) resulted in town ownership of 50.4 acres of land bounded by Route 611, including approximately 22 acres housing the Basham Simms Wastewater Plant and the maintenance facility. The remaining 28 acres and its topography lends itself to a great site for a 9 or 10-hole par three golf course.
Sometime in 2003, I walked this land with a golf course architect who told me there was plenty of space for this concept.
Over the past 10 years, municipalities in the American west and south have been using reclaimed water for reuse as irrigation for their own or private golf courses. Places in Texas are recycling their reclaimed water for potable use.
Because of the close proximity to our own reclaimed water, pond sites on the higher elevation of the 28 acres could be constructed, allowing for gravity-fed irrigation of the course and drain field recharging of town wells. Pumping our reclaimed water to the ponds could act as golf course hazards such as a sand trap, and lessen the impact of releasing this water into Catoctin Creek. Purcellville can begin its use of reclaimed water like Naples, Florida, which waters its golf courses and beautiful streetscapes in this way.
This would be the only par three course in Loudoun County, and it will get plenty of play – with revenue to help pay for the course and wastewater plant. This new amenity will raise the value of our homes in Purcellville, increase business activity and attract tourism. Purcellville could be the first place in Virginia to use reclaimed water for its golf course.
For fourteen years we have made no improvements on the 28 acres, and it produces no revenue or recreation. This project deserves serious consideration, and I hope the Purcellville Town Council will explore the request.
Perhaps a joint effort with Loudoun County or the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority would be a good solution. There might be grants available, or perhaps a public/private partnership. Revenue generated by could eventually help replace the need for available funds to hold down sewer/ water rates. More children will have the opportunity to discover golf and seniors can enjoy the sport. Purcellville’s value as a community would be increased.
Nick Pelchar served on the Purcellville Town Council from 2002 to 2006.