Park City water numbers in range, but hot, dry days are forecast
June 23, 2015
Park City residents and businesses used significantly less water last week than was available in the municipal system, a hopeful sign for City Hall’s long-running conservation efforts but a trend that will almost certainly be tested as hot, dry weather continues.
According to the Park City Water Department, the system at this point of the summer can produce 10.3 million gallons each day. The figure tends to drop as the summer wears on since some of City Hall’s sources rely on water from melting snow.
Between June 14 and June 20, the Water Department says, the daily use climbed as high as 6.2 gallons on June 18. The daily use in the time period ranged from 4.7 million gallons on June 17 to the 6.2 million-gallon high. The Water Department says approximately 70 percent of the water used in the summer goes toward sprinkling.
Jason Christensen, the water resources manager for the municipal government, said what is typically the annual peak week for the water numbers is quickly approaching. He said the week of July 1 normally is the high mark in a year. The Independence Day holiday brings large crowds to Park City and, by then, Parkites are usually watering their lawns regularly, pulling the numbers up.
The National Weather Service on Tuesday forecast sunny weather through Monday with daytime temperatures generally in the 80s Fahrenheit. The temperature was expected to approach 90 degrees on Monday.
City Hall’s annual water restrictions are in place. Under the restrictions, people who live at even-numbered addresses may water on even-numbered dates while watering is allowed on odd-numbered days at odd-numbered addresses. Outdoor watering, meanwhile, is prohibited between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., when more of the water would be lost to evaporation.
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Park City, though, offers a program that allows someone to water on off days if they register for a program that restricts watering to every three days. The Water Department provides a small yard sign to people who sign up to water every three days.
The Water Department offers an exemption for people who put down new sod or new landscaping that requires more watering than would normally be allowed.
Park City recommends someone run pop-up, spray-style sprinklers 20 minutes per location and rotating sprinklers or similar styles for 40 minutes at each location.
The 2014-2015 winter snow totals were much weaker than normal, meaning that the area’s spring runoff was not as strong as it was in a typical year. Even so, Christensen said, the municipal government does not currently anticipate tighter restrictions on water use this summer. He said the spring and early summer rains resulted in a slower start to the sprinkling season than is typical.
Park City offers water customers an online tool to track usage numbers at an individual property. The website is parkcity.waterinsight.com. It provides a detailed look at a water account, such as usage numbers compared to others in Park City and what sorts of uses push up the numbers.
The Water Department also offers a credit of up to $300 for people who install a smart water controller. The credit is put toward water billing.
More information is available on the department’s section of the City Hall website, http://www.parkcity.org/index.aspx?page=1166 . More information is also available by calling the department at 615-5305.