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Fountain Hills golf courses fear water shortage

Three of Fountain Hills’ four golf courses are bracing for financial hard times this summer because of a possible shortage of reclaimed or effluent water used for irrigation.

The Fountain Hills Sanitary District, a separate entity from the town of Fountain Hills, collects, treats and disposes of wastewater and its byproducts. Once treated, it is designated as reclaimed or effluent water.

The district provides reclaimed water free of charge to the town for three parks, and has contracts to sell the water to SunRidge Canyon Golf Club, Eagle Mountain Golf Club and FireRock Country Club for irrigation. Desert Canyon Golf Club has its own well.

In years past, the district had an overabundance of reclaimed water, but that has changed, because of increased demand by Eagle Mountain, drought conditions and poor economic conditions since the end of 2008, said Ron Huber, the sanitary district’s manager.

Foreclosures and a lack of construction have reduced the amount of wastewater available for treatment. Although the district is not required to find an alternate source for the golf courses and town, Huber said he is focused on finding a solution before July 1, when the district could run out of stored reclaimed water.

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