Murray City asks residents to conserve waterJun 29, 2021 11:49AM ● By Shaun Delliskave
Little Cottonwood Creek in Murray Park is flowing well below its average at this time of year. (Shaun Delliskave/City Journals)
By Shaun Delliskave | [email protected]
On the day that Murray City’s weather broke the all-time high-temperature record, Mayor Blair Camp and the Murray City Council passed a joint resolution calling on all Murrayites to conserve water. Cities throughout Utah are struggling in the grip of an extreme drought with no relief in sight.
At the June 15 city council meeting, without any objection, the resolution passed, encouraging residents to “consider following prudent water conservation practices such as: watering lawns at least one less time per week; not watering between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and not when it is windy outside; prioritizing watering to water the most valuable plants in their landscape; mowing lawns to a higher length.”
Murray City Water officials declare the city has sufficient water resources to meet consumer demands at this time.
“Murray has 19 wells and eight springs. Most well depths (water table) are in the normal yearly average range and not causing any serious concern at this time. Depths can change week to week and are monitored regularly,” Murray City Water Superintendent Cory Wells said.
According to Murray City Chief Communications Officer Jennifer Heaps, “The city code states that wasting water is prohibited and outlines several examples. Particularly, it states that ‘pressurized irrigation of landscapes between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. is prohibited.’ A violation of this provision is an infraction. The city is actively making contact with customers through social media, the website, the upcoming e-newsletter, and utility bill notifications to educate everyone about water wasting.”
If you are caught watering between the restricted hours, the violation is a Class B misdemeanor. In Utah, class B misdemeanors are punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
“The city is closely monitoring our water resources. If those resources start to reach an unsustainable level, the city would then determine what restrictions would be implemented,” Heaps said.
The Utah Division of Water Resources estimates that 60% of residential water is used on outdoor landscapes. In June, the state asked Utahns to reduce watering to two times per week in northern Utah. UDWR states that eliminating just one watering can save about 3,000 gallons for the average quarter-acre Utah yard.
“The governor has now mandated that all state facilities only water two days a week. We ask that everyone be aware of their water use and find ways to reduce water use and waste,” Wells said.
One way to conserve water is to flip your parking strip into a water-wise area of your yard. In fact, Murray City will pay you $1.50 per square foot for switching over your parking strip.
“The purpose of this program is to promote water conservation; it gives a cash rebate to the property owner to change to water-wise landscaping,” Wells said.
To qualify, park strips must be currently landscaped with a living, well-maintained lawn. If the lawn has been killed or removed before a pre-conversion site visit, you are not eligible for this program. Applicants must be current on all Murray utility bills.
Ideas on how to flip parking strips can be gathered at the Conservation Garden Park (8275 S. 1300 West). The park offers not only demonstration gardens but classes on how to best flip your strip.
In addition to changing out your parking strip, Wells recommends Murrayites check out the Utah Division of Natural Resources Utah Water Savers website to see what rebates they qualify for by upgrading.
“This website offers rebate programs for sprinkler controllers and toilets for all residents of Utah if criteria are met. Murray City also offers our own rebates on water sense showerheads and toilets, see Murray City website under the water department rebate program,” Wells said.