Water is one of the most important resources we have in the State of Utah, and also one of the most limited. Utah is the second driest State in the Country yet it has one of the highest water usages per capita. As a City we are making conservation efforts to be implemented in our water distribution system. We have created a Water Conservation Plan (PDF) to help in this effort. We encourage our City and community in aiding our efforts to protect our water resource now and for future generations.
What the Parks Department is doing to conserve water in 2022
- We are maintaining turf in recreation field spaces and other high use areas while allowing grasses in spaces not used for recreation programming to stress and possibly go dormant.
- We have reduced the watering of all open space where possible. We aim to significantly reduce water usage while avoiding significant damage to the grass.
- With the cut back of irrigation we anticipate there may be an increase of invasive weeds in turf. Thus, we are increasing the broadleaf weed control program to minimize weeds
- We perform comprehensive maintenance of our irrigation systems to ensure they run as efficiently as possible. We aim to make timely repairs to broken lines, leaking valves, and damaged heads. As we know that malfunctions in irrigation systems lead to unnecessary water loss.
- We continue to research and follow best practices in maintaining sprinkler systems, watering, fertilizing and other turf maintenance.
What The City Is Doing To Conserve While Maintaining Our Open Spaces
Much of city landscapes and parks use smart irrigation systems (weatherTRAK) to water according to watering requirement needs. This system allows them to make adjustments with a central cloud based system. The system can be monitored and adjusted remotely. These systems also monitor and track flow and will send notifications on malfunctions in real time. This will shut off damaged irrigation, and allow timely repairs to avoid unnecessary water waste.
As a city we strive for water wise landscapes, native and drought tolerant plants, rock mulch, and xeriscaping. When it comes to watering, we aim to water to the plant’s needs. This is done by adequately keeping the root zone from reaching full depletion. There are many factors such as Evapotranspiration, soil types, root depth, Irrigation system efficiency, and slope. In a case of a small rain storm that may not fully saturate the root zone of the plant, we may have to continue to irrigate to meet the plants needs in the soil. Below is an example of watering to the plant’s needs (max allowed depletion)
- The Saratoga Springs Parks Department maintains over 130 acres of turf. Much of this turf receives damage seasonally by recreation programming and citizen use. The parks department takes a proactive and responsible approach when maintaining our parks.
- We water between 6pm and 10am. We perform sprinkler maintenance during normal business hours. You may see sprinkler systems running at various sites if staff is working on a system in that facility.
- We monitor our sprinkling systems to minimize over spray.
- We use a 3 day watering schedule. This means that city maintained turf gets watered every 3 days unless it is newly laid sod or the grass at a specific facility has undergone more than normal damage such as Neptune Park after the Splash Days event.
- We use interval watering: Larger Parks may have three irrigation programs that water separately every three days, one program will water each night. It may appear that a park is watering every night, however, it will be a different section of the park that is watering every three days.
- If you see an issue with a sprinkler system please send a picture of the location of the issue and a description of the issue. You can contact us through email, Facebook Direct Messenger or by submitting a ticket through the Saratoga Springs App (available on Android & IOS)
What You Can Do To Conserve
Know your water use
- Click here to sign up for the My Water Use Customer Portal.
- Turn off your water when you brush your teeth.
- Limit your shower time to 5 minutes or less.
- Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge, that way you won’t have to leave the tap running to get a cool drink of water.
- Make sure your dishwasher and washing machine are full before running them.
- Install low-flow toilets and shower heads. New toilet models use only 1.6 gallons per flush saving up to 3 gallons per flush. Shower heads with a flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute or less can save 40% to 50% more water than conventional shower heads.
- Pay attention to your water bill and become familiar with your water meter. Use them to track your water use and detect leaks.
- Purchase appliances that offer water and energy efficient cycle options.
- Fix leaky plumbing fixtures and appliances throughout your home.
- Locate your master water shut-off valve so that water can be saved if a pipe bursts.
- Tune up your sprinklers, make readjustments to alignment on heads and repair broken heads. Make sure that you are not watering your sidewalk or the roadway.
- Water your lawn and property only during the times established by the City.
- Plant drought tolerant and regionally adapted plants in areas that are hard to water or that receive little use. This may include narrow strips near sidewalks or driveways and steep hills.
- Sweep your driveways and sidewalks with a broom instead of spraying them off with a hose.
- Change your lawn mower to a 3-inch clipping height and try not to cut off more than one-third of the grass height when you mow.
- Avoid bursting or freezing pipes by winterizing your outdoor spigots.