FAQ Frequently Asked Questions 2023
The City is continuing with best practices in order to use less water year over year. So, while irrigation water will be available this year (2023), the City continues to invite residents to participate in water saving initiatives so that long-term use of water becomes sustainable even when water supplies are less plentiful.
Why do we still need vegetation in park strips? City ordinances require a certain amount of vegetation to be included in park strips to control heat and assist with flood prevention -- not to mention keeping our neighborhoods beautiful, inviting, and enhancing (literal) curb appeal. This is a longer-term focus for the City, saving huge amounts of water in future years.
Grass in park strips needs a lot of water (7-10,000 gallons per season). Xeriscape design uses MUCH LESS water, with a drip system for irrigation and plants that are drought-tolerant, compact, tough, -- and some, even salt-tolerant. Once plants are established they only need to be watered one time per week (deep, but infrequently).
There are rebate programs that incentivize water conservation, including rebates offered for switching to smart irrigation sprinkler controllers, water efficient toilets etc. These programs are offered through the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District (WBWCD). MORE_INFORMATION Another newer program is the LANDSCAPE LAWN EXCHANGE that includes lawn removal and replacement in other areas of your yard besides the park strip.
If you have secondary water provided to your home, then you should NOT use culinary water for outside watering. These areas include 100% of Foxboro and some neighborhoods in the foothills around the golf course (see attached map). Further, it is against the law and dangerous to the drinking water system for anyone to install a cross connection in order to use culinary water for outside watering. This can contaminate the City’s drinking water system and comes with a costly fine for tampering with the system.
The City is cutting its watering of the golf course by 60% and its parks by 50% and will be very strategic in the areas that it waters so that it can preserve and not permanently damage these valuable City assets. The City will be on the same restrictions as the City’s residents.
Why not rocks ONLY? Rocks are fine as landscape ACCENTS, but gravel-laden grounds aren’t a good gamble in Utah’s terrain. Rocks generate heat, they increase storm water runoff, and they are not maintenance free. You might think they’re less maintenance, and in the short-term perhaps, but rocks need to be blown or cleaned weekly to prevent debris from collecting. If debris accumulates, nature takes over and plants begin spreading, even if there’s a weed barrier. If less maintenance is what you’re after, use rocks in shady areas that will naturally suppress sun-loving weeds. And, if you do include rocks as a component of your xeriscape, select rocks larger than two inches in diameter that are less likely to wash away and clog storm drains – especially in the hilly areas of our City. Note: rock mulch used in park strips adjacent to public streets with a slope of eight (8%) percent or greater must be compacted, per City ordinance.
The City understands that it can be frustrating for residents to try and conserve their use of outdoor water and still not see any reduction in their City water utility bill. The reason that this might happen is that there is a certain number of gallons that are included within the base price of each water utility bill. For example, if you live in Service Area #1, the Foxboro neighborhood, the City doesn’t charge for any usage under 10,000 gallons per month. So, if your monthly usage is typically below that amount, then any conservation efforts made will save water, but not reduce your monthly charges. If your monthly usage is typically above that amount and you normally pay overage charges, then any conservation efforts you make, will reduce the cost of your water utility bill. The same thing applies in Service Area #2, but the base allowance for outdoor watering included in the utility bill is 8,000 gallons per month. We would ask that you continue to conserve water, particularly outdoor watering. The City has cut back the watering of its parks and open spaces by 50%. It’s a good idea to manually adjust watering after rain events too since lawns and landscaping can survive for several days after heavy rains without watering.
The City’s irrigation and water use is constantly monitored, and this year is no different. Several years ago, in an effort to conserve water and keep future water needs in mind, we invested in a WeatherTRAK smart irrigation system, one of the most tested and proven commercial-grade smart irrigation controllers on the market today. This controller uses precise weather data to maintain the City’s grass and landscape health with the least amount of water possible.
There may be times when you see City sprinklers running during a rainstorm, for example. This does not mean the smart controller is malfunctioning. This simply means the watering on subsequent days will be adjusted for the rainfall, taking into consideration the plant, soil, sun exposure and slope data. We should also add that in instances where new vegetation or sod is planted, watering will need to be increased until the roots are established.