- Outside watering during the daytime remains against city ordinance
By Myrna Trauntvein
There are certain times of the day when watering plants and lawns can be against city ordinance.
Basically, in Nephi, residents should not water outside during the daytime. Watering should begin at 6 p.m. and end at 10 a.m.
Water ordinances to control use are used throughout most of the arid state of Utah. Nephi has such an ordinance and city officials plan to continue with that ordinance passed in May of 2002 which sets the times of watering allowed in the city.
The city ordinance has not been revised since 2002 and remains in place as it was originally written.
“Research has shown that irrigating only during the hours of 6 p.m. to 10 a.m. significantly increases irrigation efficiency,” said McKnight.
Violation of the ordinance is a Class C misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of up to $750.
“Neighbors and employees have been good to warn others that there is a problem with their sprinkler system or that the hose has been forgotten and left running,” said Mayor Mark Jones.
It was hoped, he said, that the friendly warnings would continue so that fines would not be necessary.
The ordinance, he said, was written without regard to the source.
Sprinkler irrigation of public or private land and plants with water from Nephi Pressurized Secondary Water System and Nephi City Culinary Water is prohibited between the high temperature hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
New lawns that require frequent irrigation for establishment purposes are exempted within 90 days of planting.
Also exempted are short cycles required for testing, inspecting and maintaining irrigation systems and other situations as permitted by the city.
“We are entering the hottest time of the year,” said Randy McKnight, city administrator. “We are not in a crisis or an emergency mode but we do need to encourage conservancy.”
The policy of the city has been the irrigation of the outside grass, gardens, plants and foliage with well water thus keeping water from springs for drinking.
However, this year the wells are already pumping.
“Last year, at this time, we did not have to pump from our wells but this year, we have already started using our wells,” he said.
The time-of-day watering ordinance calls for the promotion of water use efficiency in amenity landscape irrigation.
The first goal of the city is to pump city wells in electrical off-peak times so that the cost of pumping is not as high. Peak energy management principles and techniques as they relate to consumption are wise because they reduce the cost of power to the city and, thereby, to the consumer.
Municipal power systems pay providers more for power at the peak rate.
The summer months, when consumption of electricity is high, impacts the system. Utah’s electricity system is sensitive to temperature. High temperatures produce high electricity loads because of air conditioner use on hot days. The high time for such peaks is during the day when demand is highest.
Load refers to the amount of electricity that is demanded at any
given time on the system, and peak load is the maximum electricity demanded from a specified portion of the electrical system, typically averaged over an hour.
“Wells are pumped from 11 p.m. to the early morning hours,” said McKnight.
By pumping overnight, the city storage capacity of the pond and culinary tank is replenished so that the high costs of supplying power at peak times is not a factor. In addition, the supplies are ready for use by consumers during the daytime.
McKnight said that, if the water supply is not replenished overnight using the current timetable, it will need to be adjusted. Failure to conserve water might mean that pumps are needed during peak power times and that would result in higher water costs to be passed on to the consumer.
Bradley Springs, which does peak in summer months, will not provide a significant rise in water source to off-set the demand.
As for using the alternate watering-day method, he said, there is debate that the plan is not effective and may, in fact, increase the use of water.