The City of Cedar Hills actively promotes water conservation. We encourage our residents to learn all they can about this important topic. Read information on the Utah Division of Water Resources Website about watering, mowing, and fertilizing your lawn specific to North-Central Utah.
Use less water on landscapes in September
The Utah Department of Environmental Quality is asking for Utahns to scale back on how frequently lawns are being watered. Lower temperatures in September reduce the need for watering to approximately once per week. Adjust your individual sprinkler system and make it a habit to follow recommended watering requirements based on temperature, precipitation, type of soil, etc. The State is striving to lower per capita water use by at least 25% by 2050. View the KSL News article.
Water-ometer for July 22, 2014
July 22 - Consumption for the past week has been slightly less than the previous week's high of 52.5 million gallons. However, consumption for the week remained high at over 50 million gallons consumed, totaling an approximate 28 million gallons over the state recommended watering guidelines. Stream flows from the American Fork River, a main contributor to the city's irrigation water supply, continue to decline. Flows are now at critical low levels of approximately 30 cubic feet per second (CFS) during the multi-year drought our region is now facing. During non-drought years, flow would be expected to be in excess of 100 CFS. We remind residents to slow the flow on individual systems and conserve irrigation resources. We are fast approaching the point where demand will exceed supply, as city-wide consumption has increased, while river flow and irrigation supply has decreased.
Water-ometer for July 18, 2014
July 18 - According to the weekly pressurized irrigation usage, the city used over 30 million gallons more than we should have for the week. It was the worst week so far this summer for overuse. At this point, the pressurized irrigation system is running at full capacity, 24-hours a day. Public Works is concerned that any mechanical failure or glitch in the system will put the system behind in needed production, with probable negative ramifications. The city needs your help to reduce consumption.
With temperatures hovering near triple digits for the past week and next, effective landscape watering will be very important. Please adjust sprinklers to meet the city-adopted watering schedules for days and times. Watering during the heat of the day and during windy times is not effective. Our water resources are limited and should not be taken for granted. Especially considering that we live in an arid desert state.
A recent notice to all water users along the Virgin River states that no watering is allowed for any users unless the water right approval dates were granted earlier than the year 1900! Some people in line to lose water are worried about the effects. “It’s all the irrigation, pastures, the town park, trees,” said Lisa Stout of Virgin.
Can you imagine needing a 114-year-old water right just to qualify to receive ANY water at all? Obviously, that would eliminate any recent water right in Cedar Hills, since our city incorporated only 37 years ago in 1977. Our entire city would suffer dramatic loss of value and aesthetic appeal.
Water-ometer for July 4, 2014
July 4: Please do your part to conserve water. According to a recent Associated Press article, federal officials have designated all counties in Utah, along with portions of 10 other drought-ridden Western and Central states, as primary natural-disaster areas. The designation comes after several years of drought that plagued the region. The western United States is facing a serious drought this year, and Utah farmers are already seeing the impacts of less water from a below-average snowpack. Federal and state officials are also fearing a more dangerous wildfire season.
Water-ometer for June 27, 2014
June 27: Average temperatures are lower this week than normal for the season. Watering may be reduced during the week. The water supply outlook for the Provo basin indicates total snowpack concluded at 72% of average. Given current conditions, most watersheds will have melted out by early June. The remaining water season will rely heavily on precipitation and reservoir storage, which for the month of May ended at 77% and 74% respectively. According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) most recent report, “Water users with reservoir storage may have short supplies this year across much of the state, and those reliant on direct stream flow will experience shortages.”
City-wide Watering Schedule Provisions
In an effort to allow more flexibility for residents to determine the most efficient watering schedule for their lawn’s needs, the City Council currently will not enact landscape watering restrictions. The Council and City Staff have added upgrades to the Pressurized Irrigation System, consisting of additional wet wells, three more pumps, an electrical transformer, panel improvements, and a new 12-inch PVC distribution main with isolation valving. However, the City encourages its residents to continue to follow the water conservation recommendations of the State of Utah, such as not watering during the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. In addition, residential landscape irrigation plans should be evaluated throughout the watering season, accounting for cooler temperatures in May and September, changing weather conditions, varying soil types, plant materials, maturity of lawn and landscaping, and reviewing the necessary steps for achieving a healthy lawn.
The City also recommends that every resident obtain a Slow-the-Flow evaluation on their lawn and sprinkling system. This service is valuable in determining the soil type, depth of grass roots, and effectiveness of the sprinkling system. Go to Slow-the-Flow to schedule this FREE service and to view valuable conservation tips. This site also provides a Utah Weekly Lawn Watering Guide, which is based on weather conditions of the prior week and can help to determine when lawns may need watering and when they don’t. Throughout the summer months, City newsletters will include information about how to conserve our valuable water resources.
Pressurized Irrigation System Filters
We have had a number of residents contact the City about low water pressure on their pressurized irrigation connection. Each connection should include a filter, which would have been installed at the time that sprinklers were attached to the City-wide system. These filters must be cleaned a couple of times each year to ensure full flow to the system. If you are having concerns with low pressure, try cleaning the filter and re-evaluating the flow.
This FREE service, sponsored by the Central Utah Water Conservancy District and Utah State University Extension Service, has been funded by a grant since 2002. Inspections are done May through September. To schedule an inspection, call 877-728-3420. A representative from the “SLOW THE FLOW” program will set up an appointment for a technician to come to your home to check if your lawn is getting the proper amount of water.
The technician will examine your grass roots (which should be 9-12" long) and your soil to determine your soil type. Catch cups will be set out to see how evenly and uniformly your sprinkler system is distributing water. You will be alerted if part of the system is malfunctioning so that you can make appropriate adjustments. Pressure in the lines will be checked to make sure it is not too high (which will wear a sprinkler system out prematurely) or too low (which will cause inadequate coverage of turf). You will also receive a personalized water schedule for your yard based on your soil type and a folder with water conservation tips and other helpful information.
Use Water Wisely
Did you know you may be using more water than you realize? To estimate the total gallons used outside your home per month, use this simple equation: Watering minutes per day (X) Watering days per week (=) Watering minutes per week (/) 60 (=) Watering hours per week (X) 250 (=) Gallons per week. To estimate your average outside usage per month, multiply this answer by four.
To reduce outdoor water usage, here are a few tips:
- Frequently check your irrigation system for leaks.
- Use low water-use plants and shrubs.
- Adjust irrigation schedules to accommodate seasonal water demands. When there are cooler temperatures and precipitation, suspend your automated sprinkler system until conditions warrant resuming a sensible watering schedule.
- Adjust sprinkler so only the lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk, or street.
- Water at night or during the cool morning hours to minimize evaporation.
- Do not let the hose run while washing your car. Instead, use a bucket or use a hand sprinkler with an on/off lever attached to your hose.
- Sweep your sidewalk and driveway rather than hosing it off.
More Tips to Conserve Water
- Take a shorter shower. A typical shower uses 15-30 gallons every five minutes.
- Check taps, pipes, and toilets for leaks.
- When you mow the lawn adjust the height of the mower blade to the highest setting or a minimum of four inches. The taller grass makes for greater shade on the roots and helps maintain moisture.
- When you wash clothes and dishes, always wash full loads.
- Plant drought-resistant lawns, shrubs, and plants. There are many plants that thrive in Utah's conditions. Not only do they help conserve water, they require less maintenance.
- If you do have trees and plants that need more water, put a layer of mulch around them to discourage weed growth and help slow evaporation.
- It's tempting to get the hose out to get rid of debris and garbage, but it can waste a lot of water. Use a broom to clean gutters and driveways. The average garden hose has a flow of 17 gallons per minute.
- When you need to buy new goods, invest in water-efficient items. Many companies are making water-efficient shower heads, washing machines, toilets, taps, and dishwashers.
- Turn off the water while brushing your teeth. The bathroom faucet can run up to two gallons of water in one minute.
- Before planting the garden, plan to group plants with similar watering needs together to help avoid over watering and under watering the plants.
Brown Spots…It must need more water. Or does it?
Did you know that not all brown spots are caused by lack of water? Some spots are actually caused by a grass root-eating bug called bill bug. This bug will eat the root of the grass, causing areas of your lawn to turn brown and look as if it is not receiving enough water. So how does one tell if they have bill bug? Pull a sample from the “dead” grass area; if roots are non-existent and/or they look chewed on, you’ve got bill bug. So before you hose, check for evidence of the bug, because no amount of water is going to bring your beautiful landscaped yard back if the bug is prevalent.
Grass not healthy enough for you?
Try aerating your lawn. Grass, like people, needs oxygen to grow. Regardless of how much water you give your lawn, it will never reach that beautiful lush green color without oxygen. So oxygenate, and start aerating every spring. Not only will this make your lawn more green and beautiful, but it will make it healthier and more durable over time.