Ooif Courses Urge State To Ease irriqation Standards BY l)ORI COSGROVK (il'RKAM'S Five golf courses in Brunswick County have been gathering evi dence in an effort to prove to the suite that's effluent water standards should be less strict. Sea Trail, Sand Piper Bay, Brunswick Plantation, Lion's Paw and Lockwcxxl Folly Golf Links l.ave joined forces to persuade suite environmenuil officials that treated effluent wastewater can be used to water their golf courses without pre senting a health hazard to the public. The goal, said spokesperson Dean Walters of Sea TpijJ in Sunset Beach, is "to ed ucate them" on the benefits and safety of using the system to in crease available water supplies to golf courses. "They have some very strict rules," he said. "Stricter than South Carolina." The method, which has been used in South Carolina for over 20 years, calls for treated effluent water from the local sewer system to be pumped to the golf course. The water would then be sprayed on the grounds as a source of irrigation. During periods of abundant rain fail, the wastewater wouid be stored in holding ponds for later use. Currently, such an irrigation sys iem is not allowed in North Caro lina. Officials with the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) in Raleigh are not vet con vinced that South Carolina's prac tices arc in the best interests of envi ronmenuil safety or public health. Preston Howard, Wilmington re gional supervisor for the DEM, said last week that his officc would be willing to change North Carolina's suindards if representatives from the Brunswick County golf courses could give him substantial evidence that the proposed system would be successful. The present 'non-discharge per Holden Beach To BY DOUG R UTTER Holden Beach Building Inspector Dwight Carroll will coniinuc accepting building plans jvst as they're presented following Monday's town board meeting. After i! lengthy rir?hnif commissioners tabled a proposal that would have allowed the town manager and inspector to deter mine the intended use of rooms shown on U nlono IIUU.^V piuiu. Town Manager Gary Parker had recom mended the town follow a state code which allows inspectors to consider as a bedroom any room which can reasonably be expect ed to function as a bedroom. "There arc some builders who think the rule is difficult to enforce and think we should not enforce it, but 1 think we should enforce the rule," Parker said at the outset of the discussion. The rule is designed to control density and discourage people from submitting house plans with rooms listed as dens or of fices which are later marketed, sold and Bellamy One Of First 3 Inductees In N.C. Soil BY SUSAN USHER James D. Bellamy Jr. of Shallotte adds another "first" this week to the honors he has earned during 40-plus years of soil conservation service. The 69- 'ear-old Brunswick County native was among the first three persons to be inducted Tues day at Raleigh into the new North Carolina Soil and Water Conser vation Hall of Fame. In accepting the honor, Bellamy told listeners that the award did not mark the end of his service, that he has one item of "unfinished busi ness". He is heavily involved in efforts to establish a Resources Conserv ation and Development District for Region O, Cape Fear Council ol Governments He is acting chairman for the commission that is working to win one of 20 new positions thai will be created nationwide. Theirs is the only application from North Carolina, which means it should have the state's support, said Bellamy. Plus, the original applica tion has been on file in Washington since 1974. Bellamy has served as district su pcrvisor and chairman of the Brunswick Soil and Water Con servation District since 1949. In nominating him for the Hall of Fame, the board's vice-chairman, Harold C. Robinson, wrote, "With out any doubt, he is one of the most dedicated supervisors in America. Wc feel this is one way for the State of North Carolina to say thank you for all his contributions..." Bellamy became the first district "We're not asking for a lessening of the water quality, simply a changing of some of the regulations ? Dean Walters, Sea Trail spokesperson on requests made to the DEM A mil,' which is issued to golf courscs that mcci state standards, has several requirements that aa' slightly more strict than South Carolina's regula tions. pjrel ?hr> WaitCV.'.'UCr needs to go through a three-part cleansing process. It has to be disin fected. filtered and biologically bro ken down to remove all traces of waste materials. It is then pumped to a holding pond, which must be lined to pre vent seepage into groundwater sources, and stored. The ponds must also have some sort of drainage sys tem to further prevent run-off onto the grounds. Spraying is not allowed up to 2 hours to 3 hours before tee-time, nor before 11 p.m.. which limits the time irrigation can take place. Golf communities with residences are not allowed to spray within 100 feet of a house. "Maybe we can learn not to be so stringent," said How-aiu. indicating the agency's willingness to consider the approach. "We'd like to promote this as a good means of supplying nutrients to the grounds as well as conserving water, while supplying the compa nies with added irrigation," he said. "We will try to work with them." Howard said he's not necessarily opposed to the system, stating that it prevents wastewater from being dumped into natural lakes and rivers. Meetings have been conducted for the past year on the subject, but no visible results have been realized to date. Walters said that "three or four" meetings between the golf corpora tions, represented by attorney Ken SEWER SYSTEM DISCUSSED ONCE AGAIN Continue Accepting House '7/z 10 years you won't get any more permits on Holden Beach. I'll write that in blood." used as bedrooms in violation of the health wuuU But the proposal met with widespread opposition Monday night, both from the board of commissioners and the audience. Commissioner Gay Atkins, who opposed the idea when it was last discussed in the spring of 1989, hasn't changed her mind. She said builders that want to stay in business will build whatever the homeown er wants. Each homeowner, she said, must be responsible for how 'heir rooms arc used. Alan Holden, who owns a real estate company at Holden Beach, said there's nothing the town can do to stop someone from violating the law. ? Alan Huiuen, dcveiupei If a homeowner wants to rent a two-bed room house to 10 or 12 people, Holden said there's nothing practical the town can do to stop it. "I'm gonna beat you any way I want to go if I'm a villain out to beat you," he said. "You arc not going to beat it unless you limit the people." Jim Griffin, a real estate developer, ad mits thai septic tank permits are frequently abused. But he doesn't think the town should be able to tell someone they can't have a den simply because it might be used as a bed room. "You're telling him that his intent is to break the law," Griffin said. "I think that's "It means a whole lot to me. The Hall of Fame is what everybody considers the ultimate because you 11 be therefor time indefinite" ? James D. Bellamy Jr. Hall of Fame Inductee supervisor to serve as slaic commis sion chairman in 1965 and also chaired the group from 1968 to 1970 and again in 1972. He has also served on the National Association of Conser vation Districts (NACD) Board of Directors from 19X2 through 19XX and was southeastern NACD region al chairman in 1984 and 1987. Locally he spearheaded efforts to re-establish and secure additional grant money for the CawCaw Drainage District, a watershed con structed in 1967 with a federal grant that became inactive when property owners failed to pay their assess ments and the drainage ditches dete riorated. Interviewed Saturday, Bellamy said the Hall of Fame is the greatest honor he has ever received. "It means a whole lot to me," said the man who has already received every major known award in his field of endeavor. "The Hall of Fame is what everybody considers the ultimate because you'll DC there for lime indefinite." Bellamy's "dozens" of past hon Kirkman ol Morehead Cily, and DEM officials had been held since September of 1990. Howard reported that he had asked the group to bring him cvi .u,:- ?.- ? ??vi.va iv jup}A?ii u;v:; t'iit that no such data has been presented to date. He said that Brunswick Planta tion, which now contracts for sewer service with Carolina-Blythe Utilit ies in Calabash, applied for a non discharge permit in late 1991. Preston said he had "some con cern with their pumping lagoon," since it was not lined. The lagoon is close to the CawCaw Swamp, Ho ward said, and would run off into that tributary of the Waccamaw River. The application will probably be submitted again, Howard said, and would be reconsidered at that time. If the permit were issued, Bruns wick Plantation would become the trendsetter for area large-scale golf courscs. Mounting Evidence Only one non-discharge permit has been issued in Brunswick County, Howard said. It's in the name of North Star Carolina, a cor poration based in Kansas City, Kan., which owns and operates Sand Piper Bay Golf Links. Gene Blanton, general manager of Sand Piper Bay, said that the compa ny has had '.be permit since "around April of 1988," but that it only al lows spraying of treated wastewater from their restaurant on the driving range. Blanton reported that the system has been successful. "We haven't had a minute's prob lem with it," he said, "We were just ors include the Governor's Con servation Award from Gov. Terry Sanford, ihe State Soil Conservation Service Award twice and the Suite Soil Conservation Society chapter award. The latter led to the National Soil Conservation Society Award the following yr:ir Joining him as the hall's first hon orces arc Lloyd C. Bunch of Eden ton and the late Dr. Hugh Hammond Bennett of Wadesboro. Bennett, who died in 1960 at age 79, was known nationally as "the Father of Soil Conservation". He founded the international Soil and Water Conservation Society and was the first chief of the U.S. Dept. of Agncuiiuic juii Cuusci vaiiOii Ser vice. Bunch, 89, a Chowan County na tive, served as a district chairman from 1948 through 1988, is a past state association president and Area 5 chairman, and served a three-year term on the N.C. Soil and Water Conservation Commission. N.C. Agricultural Commissioner Jim Graham, who presented their enshrinemcni plaques, described the STAFF PHOTO BY DORl C GURGANUS GENE Si I ANTON OF SAND PWER BAY Golf Course points at one of the ground-level sprinklers on the driving range that irri gates the grass with treated effluent wastewater from the club restaurant. inspected and we had a great inspec tion." Regarding the proof needed by other golf courses to change the DEM's standards for irrigation with treated effluent, Blanton said his ex perience "couldn't do anything but help the situation." treading on real ihin icc and I would resent it tremendously." Commissioner David Sandifer agreed, and used Griffin's home as an example of how the rule could backfire. I l/tnSlimnlo tjuiivinvi .Htiu v> ? i ? ? 1 1 1 a in.) u iv^iuiiiuiv vivn and workout ax?m in his house that could have been interpreted as bedrooms on a set of building plans. "It is abused, but you can't throw the ba by out wiui the bath water," Sandifer sam. Discussion of the bedroom issue quickly turned into lalk of the need for a sewer sys tem al Holden Beach. Parker said he agrees with several builders he has talked with who see a cen tral sewer system as the solution to prob lems associated with overcrowding. Planning Board Chairman Roger Williams said 50 percent of the property owners who responded to a recent survey arc in favor of a sewer system and 47 per cent are opposed. Of the permanent residents who respond ed, he said 45 percent want a sewer system three as working leaders in soil and water conservation. "Their work helped farmers retain and control a natural resource, soil, so necessary to agriculture," he said. "That, in turn, makes a cleaner, sale environment." Next year, up to three individuals may be named to the Hall of Fame, with the number reduced to one a year in subsequent years, said Bellamy. Founded in 1991, the Hall of Fame recognizes lifelong ach ievement with the 48-year-old N.C. Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts. Inductees' p'aqucs will be placed in the Scott Building at the State Fairgrounds in Began As Farmer When Bellamy first became in volved in soii conservation work, he was a full-time farmer, growing to bacco, hogs and at one time a large herd of catUe. He later became involved in the livestock, feed and farm equipment businesses, all the while farming on a more limited basis. Bellamy presently raises quail Blanlon said that he is eager to have the regulations changed to make it easier for local corporations to implement the system. Sand Piper Bay currently sprays the remainder of its course with fresh water pulled from nearby natu ral lakes. Plans As Presented Conservation Hall Of Fame and has a lew cows at his farm on Four Mile Road, he said, "but now I don't keep a schedule or meet a deadline." Involvement in the Soil Conser vation Service and agriculture has taken Bellamy and his wife, Virginia, a former public health nurse, to all states but Alaska, as well as to Europe. He was the first supervisor to serve on the National Soil Conser vation Service Plant Materials Center Board of Directors, serving three years. Also with the NACD he has served on five committees and chaired two, coastal and urban re sources and the prestigious research and technology. From 1982 to 19X5 he served on a special task force charged with revamping the bylaws and structure of the seven-state southeastern region. Before the group's work was completed, three of seven members had died. Kcmi-mhers The People But what he enjoys most and re members best arc the movers and shakers he has mingled with in agri cultural circles and the policies and decisions that he has helped ?h:inc over the years. He drops names casually ? those of U.S. Secretary of Agriculture John R. Block, Sen. Jesse Helms, Rep. Charlie Rose and many others. How some efforts were a succcss is hard to explain, he said, citing the 1985 Farm Bill as an example, which met heavy opposition nation wide. "When it was drafted it was the Meanwhile, Sea Trail Corp. has been busy gathering evidence in the fonn of a study conducted on its greens' capacity to handle such a system. Russnow, Kane, and Andrews. Inc. of Raleigh, have been conduct ing a hydrologic/geologic study to send to the DEM. According to Walters, the report will confirm what he has believed all along. "I maintain that it is not a health hazard, that this hasn't been proved," he said "1 maintain that this is a viable alternative." ?ttt i. ? . iv. c - i IC I II H <l.SMIIk! !W1 a 1C.WCIIIHK of the water quality, simply a chang ing of some of the regulations," Walters said. 'Twenty or 30 years from now, we won't sec any signs of run-off." Walters also said ihat South Carolina had shown no cases of health risks, even though their water is not regulated to be its clean as North Carolina's. "We've been through a long pro cess with the DEM, state health ser vices and environmental agencics," he said, "We're going to prove that there's not a run-off problem or a down-grading of the aquifer." Sea Trail's study shows, he said, that the entire 18-hoIc course, which Walters estimated at 115 acres to 125 acres, can accept 300,(XX) gal lons of water per day. Both Walters and Howard said that irrigating an area of this size with sources other than treated efflu ent, such as groundwater, docs limit the available amount of drinkable public water. More meetings arc on the agenda for the parties involved, and results appear to be in sight. "We're going to change some things about the law, regardless, based on what we already know," Howard said of the irrigation regula tions. "But other parts of it we'll need evidence for." Said Walters, "I'm sure they'll de cide in the next few months. I'm sure we'll be able to persuade them." 1 anil 52 percent are against it. All of the town's property owners were sent surveys. Holden, who serves on the town's plan ning board, encouraged the board to contact the neighboring towns of Ocean Isle Beach, I Ann Ij . . 1. U ?-UI ??, viUII.IVi UVUWII IUIU V^UIUUUOII about sewer system development. Ocean Isle has a sewer systems in place and the other three arc building or consider ing sewer systems. Holden said a sewer system would be cheaper if constructed on a large scale, with several communities pooling their re sources. According to Holden, the Brunswick County Health Department "hammered" Holden Beach as soon as Ocean Isle in stalled its sewer system four years ago. He said he expects another crackdown on septic lank permits as soon as the other beach communities get their systems in place. "In 10 years you won't get any more per mits on Holden Beach," Holden said. "I'll write that in blood." first major changes in agricultural law to have enforcement power with it," recalled Bellamy. "I was heavily involved with that, especially with the wetlands." Through contacts with the Senate Agriculture Committee chaired by Helms, Bellamy was in constant contact, exerting what influence he and others could as the bill moved through Congress. "It's hard to brag on what we kept from being done. It's hard to tell people, 'It would have been a lot worse if we hadn't been there.' "I doubt today, though, that there's anyone who can give you a definition of what a wetland is." CPR Class Offered At Shallotte Point Shallouc Point Volunteer Fire Department will hold a cardiopul monary resuscitation (CPR) class at the station on Bay Road Jan. 13 and ?0. Both sessions will sum at 7 p.m., said Joyce Land, with Gregg Warren as the instructor. Senior citizens age 65 and older and members of the Brunswick County Fire & Rescue Association may take the class at no charge. For others, a fee of S30 is payable at the first class meeting. For more information, contact Ms. I .and at 754-6985.