St. George implements mandatory outdoor watering restrictions

ST. GEORGE – In the midst of another drought year, the St. George City Council approved mandatory outdoor culinary water restrictions for the coming summer season, effective immediately.

“Reservoirs are lower this year,” Conservation Coordinator René Fleming said during the City Council meeting Thursday. She asked the City Council to implement mandatory restrictions that prohibit outdoor watering between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Water used during the day, particularly as temperature rise, will simply evaporate and be wasted, City Manager Gary Esplin said.

“With the (limited) precipitation we’ve received in Southern Utah, it makes sense not to water in the middle of the day,” Esplin said.

“This council also feels this is important,” Mayor Jon Pike said.

According to information released by the Washington County Water Conservancy District last month, the county had a snow pack of 47 percent from the 2013-14 winter season. Due to another year of low snow pack levels, the water flow in regional rivers – the same that feed area reservoirs – is also expected to be low.

Water flow on parts of the Virgin River has been reported to be between 36-17 percent between Virgin and Littlefield, Arizona. The Santa Clara River has been measured at 21 percent. Overall reservoir storage in Southwest Utah is pegged at 40 percent by the WCWCD.

If a resident is found watering the lawn during the restricted hours, that person will not be fined, Fleming said, but instead will be educated concerning ways in which to best conserve and use water. While some people have been repeatedly warned about violations in the past, there really haven’t been any major enforcement issues, she said.

Most people get it pretty quickly,” Fleming said. As well, she said she would rather educate the members of the public than penalize them.

As mentioned above, the restriction applies to culinary water, or treated, drinking-quality water. It does not apply to irrigation and re-use water, which Fleming called “raw and untreated,” that is: water used for areas like golf courses, cemeteries, city parks, the grounds of Dixie State University, and so forth. The local irrigation system also lacks the storage and production capabilities of the residential system, forcing these facilities to water whenever possible and often during the middle of the day.

When the city enacts water restrictions, they only apply to users who irrigate with drinking water,” Fleming previously told St. George News.

The City Council voted unanimously to pass the outdoor water restrictions. Fleming said the restrictions tend to stay in effect till around Oct. 1.

Other business

The St. George Exchange Club was honored with a mayoral proclamation naming May 11 St. George Exchange Club Day. May 11 marked the St. George Exchange Club’s 40th birthday.

The City Council approved a bid for $981,714.95 to Interstate Rock Products to construct the Mall Drive Bridge Access Road.  The Mall Drive Bridge project is slated for completion in the fall.

Fireworks West International was approved to handle the city’s July 4 fireworks programs for $40,000. The city will again partner with Canyon Media for the fireworks show.


Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.


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  • Brian May 16, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Of course the golf courses aren’t covered. My neighborhood has 400 homes, with a golf course just down the street. The golf course uses more water in a day than our entire community uses in a month (based on actual usage info, not speculation). As far as I know the only water available to the golf course is culinary.

    • DB May 16, 2014 at 4:50 pm

      I live on a public course (St George) and the water used is not culinary.

  • DB May 16, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    I assume we’re talking about lawn sprinklers here? (as opposed to the hand watering of shrubs)

  • Steve May 16, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    Before St. George starts telling people how to conserve water, they need to take a look at the splash pad on Maine st. How much water is being wasted there?

    • Rachel May 16, 2014 at 7:04 pm

      The splash pads recycle the water.

      • Steve May 16, 2014 at 7:31 pm

        Are you sure about that? That seems a little unsanitary. Even if they do, the whole thing about watering the lawn and evaporating into the air would fall into the same category.

        • Dave May 17, 2014 at 10:06 am

          The splash pad is chlorinated and reused. Just like a swimming pool. Have you ever been there Steve?

          • Steve May 17, 2014 at 2:28 pm

            Yes I have. So do you think just because it is chlorinated that it will not evaporate and be wasted?

  • Beingldsdoesntmatterinstgeorge? May 19, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    What about all the professional bldgs such as 900E at 700S? And, of course, the LDS churches? That lush green isn’t painted.

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