NIMBY Golden Gate Park Style

Water recycling plant would irrigate Golden Gate Park.

By Matt Baume
|  Monday, Sep 27, 2010  |  Updated 11:45 AM PDT
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San Francisco water is so great that some folks want to use it more than once.

The city's considering plans to install a water recycling plant at the western end of Golden Gate Park. The plant would reuse "grey" water that's not fit for consumption but could be used for tasks like irrigation or hosing off sidewalks. Currently, the city draws upon an underground aquafer for some of the park's irrigation.

The Golden Gate Park Preservation Alliance is not amused, and wants the recycling plant to be located outside of the park. But is there room anywhere else in the neighborhood for a water recycling plant? Because the Outer Sunset is comprised almost completely of small suburban houses, there's not much room for infrastructure. Taller buildings would allow more people to fit onto a smaller piece of property, but good luck with the zoning for that.

Neighbors are wary of the plans. At a recent public meeting, they advocated evaluating other sites, building the plant underground, and planting less water-dependent foliage in the park. Concerns were expressed about smells, noise, and cutting off the park from the beach.

The next step in the process is writing and Envrionmental Impact Report. That will take place over the next couple of months. In the mean time, city residents can submit their input on the EIR scope to carrie.dovzak@sfgov.org.

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