Murray Water has one word to residents: conserveMay 30, 2022 04:42PM ● By Shaun Delliskave
By Shaun Delliskave | [email protected]
It’s another drought year, and Murray Water, the city’s largest water provider, hopes residents don’t let that precious resource all go down the drain. Murray Journal asked Public Works Director Danny Astill his thoughts on this summer’s water situation.
What is Murray’s water supply looking like for the summer?
Murray City owns and operates 19 wells and eight springs. Currently, only one of these sources is not in operation due to maintenance that is taking place. We have always been concerned and have kept a close eye on both our “static” and “pumping” well depths. We have seen those levels go up and down over the years. Although we have seen some minor declines in our well levels, we are cautiously optimistic that our citizens will continue conserving this precious resource as they did in 2021, which will prevent us from having to make any drastic changes as the summer continues. We will continue to closely monitor our wells for any significant changes.
If Murray has a summer like last year, do you foresee water restrictions?
If we continue to have a dry pattern or if we have mechanical problems at a few of our sources, we may need to establish certain restrictions. Additionally, water aquifers are connected throughout the valley and can be affected by other water suppliers using high pumping rates. It is important that Murray City and other water providers avoid competing for the same water and lowering the pumping depths in our aquifers to critical levels.
Will Murray City be addressing the drought with any of its current properties?
Last year we advised all of the Murray City Departments to be aware of their water use and to cut back from their normal usage. We have continued the same request again this year. We do understand the desire for our residents to use and enjoy our open spaces, such as our parks and golf course, and the need to keep them green for sports and recreational activities. However, other city properties that are less vital will be watched to keep grass from being overwatered.
Will the city be offering any incentives for residents to reduce water usage?
Murray Water currently offers a rebate program for residents on Murray water to replace their park strips with water-wise landscaping or “Flip your Strip,” as well as rebates to switch to water sense approved fixtures such as toilets, showerheads and faucets. More information can be found on the Murray City website. Other rebate incentives may be found at www.utahwatersavers.com.
Will Murray monitor those who waste water (such as watering during the middle of the day)? How will Murray address those who do not adhere to water restrictions?
We do watch for water wasters, and if we see this or receive a complaint, we will go to the location and talk with them. Most often, we find that people just need to be educated as to how to avoid wasting water. Also, if for some reason we are unable to speak to someone, we will leave a door hanger with information about the concern of wasting water and who to call for more information. If a person is a repeat offender and seems not to care, we have the option to have our code enforcement get involved.
What should residents be doing now to plan for another drought year?
Think about how they can reduce their outdoor watering by removing grass if they can and replacing it with more water-efficient landscaping. Have a water efficiency check on their irrigation system and update their sprinkler timer to interact with current weather conditions in the area.
Remember to set sprinkler control timers to water only after 6 p.m. and before 10 a.m. as well as reducing the number of days they water each week per recommendations from the Utah Department of Natural Resources weekly lawn watering guide. www.conservewater.utah.gov.
Wash only full loads in your dishwasher and clothes washer. Take shorter showers, and turn off the water while brushing your teeth. They may not only save water; they may also reduce their energy consumption needed for hot water.
Do not use water to wash down your concrete; use a blower or broom to accomplish those tasks. Wash your car on your grass using a spray nozzle that does not run constantly. Another benefit of not washing down your concrete is that it helps to avoid washing debris to the storm drains, which goes directly to our rivers and helps to reduce pollution.