Nemacolin Woodlands Resort keeps it clean

The resort constructs a wash pad facility that is both environmentally friendly and low maintenance.

Brian D. Anderson, director of turfgrass managementNemacolin Woodlands Resort
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Farmington, Pa.
Published date: August 2006

Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, an exclusive resort in the mountains of southwest Pennsylvania, recently constructed a new maintenance complex. We worked with Carbtrol Corp., a Connecticut-based wastewater recycling company, to custom design a wash water recycling system to fit our needs.

Austin Shepherd, vice president and engineer of the project, worked with designers to determine the best fit for our company. After several meetings and revisions we finally began constructing our water recycling system.

Wash water recycling

The system is a simple, but well-engineered unit that offers unlimited water availability, removal of solids, hydrocarbons, and turf chemicals using EPA-recommended Best Available Technology. Our wash water recycling system uses chemical and physical treatment technology that isn’t disrupted by temperature, pH, or shock loads of pesticides. It uses carbon and sand filters in conjunction with safe pool chemicals to create a wash water system that has the option to be zero discharge and 100-percent recycled wash water. View our wash water recycling system.

Personalizing our wash water recycling system

We added a few unique items to our wash water recycling unit to ensure that it was environmentally safe. Our facility has more than 38,000 square feet under roof which results in a lot of water drainage. The Carbtrol system was used to catch and recycle all of the floor drains in our 8,000 square foot mechanics shop, and our 20,000 square foot equipment storage building. This was done in case we ever had a fuel or hydraulic oil spill. Any liquid that touches the floor in either facility is washed down the drain, pumped to the Carbtrol system, treated, and used to wash our turf equipment. We also added a car wash. It works just like your everyday, run of the mill, high-pressure car wash. Through the use of phosphorus free soaps (they are fast breaking and don’t create big foams) we can keep our turf equipment and vehicles looking brand new. Recycled water is used to wash equipment and vehicles.

Wash water recycling concernsCaseStudy-WQP-Nemacolin-pic2

Before this installation, I’d heard horror stories about recycling systems, most of those stories focusing on system maintenance. I was pleasantly surprised when I realized the system that we have is very low maintenance. On average it takes one person 5-10 minutes a day to keep it running smoothly. The biggest issue is training the staff to maintain the grass-clipping cart to ensure that the clippings are not overflowing from the trailer. The grass cart requires the most attention. It is where all of the larger particles are removed from the water and screened out for removal either to a compost pile or waste dump. The time invested in keeping the cart clean depends on the quantity of machines cleaned and the volume of grass from those machines. We usually dump the cart one or two times a day.


Nemacolin Woodlands Resort has benefited greatly from the installation of this wash water recycling system. Public perception has improved too. The public now views the golf facility as an environmentally conscious property and as a positive influence on the local environment. We don’t discharge any wash water into local streams. Grass clippings are washed down the drain to float through the resort’s wastewater system. We reuse our wash water at the 100 percent mark. We now operate more efficiently thanks to the layout and design of our new system. All equipment washing and cleaning takes place on a large pad (covered from the elements) that can accommodate up to four fairway mowers at a time.

All hoses are stored on retractable reels that are mounted to the wall so that there are no tripping hazards or hoses laying everywhere covered in grass clippings. Since we work in a covered structure, on rain days we can scrub and wax our equipment so that it will last longer, look new, and have a better resale or trade in value. The investment made in the wash water recycling system was a great one. We took the initiative to become more environmentally steward before wash water recycling becomes a legal requirement. As we move into the future, and guidelines for all facets of golf course maintenance become more stringent, we know we are doing everything we can to promote golf and the environment.

Learn more about the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort.