HIGH SPRINGS – High Springs City Manager Ed Booth is seeking an experienced sod farmer to help grow sod on the city’s wastewater spray field. Booth said at the May 23, 2013, regular city commission meeting that the soccer and ball fields all needed sod to improve the playing surface.

“Rather than paying for sod, I thought we might grow our own sod at our spray field,” he said. With raised eyebrows, commissioners asked if he had ever seen this done before. Booth said, “Myrtle Beach grew Bermuda grass on their spray fields to sell.” Instead of selling the sod, Booth hopes to go into partnership with an experienced sod farmer in exchange for providing some sod as payment.

“We certainly have the water and the fields could really use the addition of new sod,” he said. “I am open to any type of mutually beneficial arrangement,” he said. “I am just trying to take care of our fields in the most economical way possible.”

Booth suggested the person filling the recreation director’s position, a soon to be hired position at the city, could be in charge of the spray field sod project.

The Grand Strand Water and Sewer Authority (GSWSA) in Myrtle Beach, S.C. is the group Booth was referencing. According to information on the Grand Strand website, Myrtle Beach grows Bermuda and Centipede sod through their High Tech Turf Farms project. Agricultural Superintendent Wendell Blanton oversees the project.

GSWSA boasts quality turf by the pallet or piece to homeowners and businesses alike and offers delivery and volume discounts for purchases of more than 25,000 sq. ft.

Myrtle Beach has a much larger spray field area to farm than the City of High Springs, but based on the information on their site, they enjoy a good amount of sales and benefit the City as well as others in their region. Especially in larger cities, the use of spray fields as water sources for non-edible crop growth could become a revenue generating wave of the future.

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