City of Glenwood Springs offering resources to help with scheduled watering regulations
This is the second year that the city of Glenwood Springs has required scheduled lawn watering, but it’s not for the sustainability reasons expected.
This year, the city is offering free timing controllers to help prevent spikes in use that could overload the water treatment plant.
“A fun term that we developed during COVID is, we’re just hoping to flatten that curve,” Glenwood Springs Director of Public Works Matt Langhorst said.
Langhorst said that the biggest reasoning for the scheduled watering days is to prevent usage spikes at the treatment plant after hours when no employees are present.
Chemical levels need to be changed depending on how high water usage goes. Those spikes often happen when no one is around to change the levels, meaning someone has to go back during closed hours, he said.
Langhorst said the Glenwood Springs Water Treatment Plant is still a smaller facility that is not staffed 24 hours a day.
Last year, the city heard complaints about people having old or outdated systems that did not have timers that could be set for every other day. The city was able to order Rain-Bird controllers in bulk to give away to residents who don’t have sensors or timers.
Already, the city has given out 12 controllers to residents and is willing to give more out on a first-come, first-served basis. Next year, the city plans to order more, especially given how successful it has been offering that resource this year.
“As far as the installment goes, a lot of people who are DIY (do-it-yourself) can handle it,” Water and Wastewater Field Operations Superintendent Mike Hoffman said. “For help, most landscaping companies are able to handle the task, too.”
The controller is pretty simple to figure out for the month, but it might need to be reprogrammed each month depending on how the days might change, he said.
The watering schedule is only meant for irrigation purposes, said Glenwood Spring Public information Officer Bryana Starbuck. People are still able to hand water plants daily or even wash their cars. She said the rule applies only to sprinkler systems or people putting the hose out in the yard for longer periods of time.
For residents who are breaking the rules, there is a code enforcement officer who goes around to check, and they will give residents notifications and warnings.
“I have never seen anyone go past a warning,” Langhorst said. “Most people are compliant.”
There are fines after the warning, but it is rare.
Larger nonresidential properties that are watering outside of the schedule come under different agreements with the city that don’t apply to the scheduling times, Starbuck said.
Although the watering schedule is mostly to help the water plant keep up with periodic overnight spikes, conservation is still on the minds of city officials. Watering mid-afternoon just causes the water to evaporate before it really helps the lawn or plant life. Watering during the morning and evening hours greatly helps with conservation, she said.
“It helps with maintenance, but it’s also helping with conservation,” Langhorst said of the scheduled watering times. “Why waste it if you don’t have to.”
The city plans to continue regulating watering days in the future, with the hope of making it more regionally uniform next year, Langhorst said. That way if someone moves from one town or county to another, it stays the same.
“We’ve tried every year to put out the information, looking for where we can assist people,” Starbuck said.
For more information about the Glenwood Springs Water Department, including conservation and watering schedules, go to https://www.cogs.us/196/Water.
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