Several of Sandy City's irrigation systems are very old, making it difficult to have all of our parks watered by 6:00 am. When we set the watering schedules, we keep in mind that our citizens will be using jogging paths, tennis courts, etc. We try to water these areas over night. Due to the design of some parks, this does not keep water off the paths in the morning. We are in the process of upgrading our irrigation system to alleviate the limitations of our older sprinklers. The irrigation crew is installing computerized irrigation systems and also looking at installing new mainlines and valves in certain parks. This will help with water conservation and shorten the water window. The Parks and Recreation Department is dedicated to conserve water this year and in the future. If you have any concerns or questions, please call us at 801.568.2900.
What Is Sandy Parks & Recreation Doing To Conserve Water?
Staff Training & Development
Our staff is certified in water auditing through the State of Utah. This certification is based on providing the proper amounts of water to landscape plants and turf. The certification also allows our staff to perform water audits. The audit measures the effectiveness of the irrigation system. We know how much water is going down, if the water is being dispersed equally and how long the water needs to run. This is very important and varies from one area to another. Due to normal wear and tear, vandalism and construction related problems, we will have breakdowns in our irrigation system. We encourage citizens to report problems regarding irrigation quickly to our Department. Our policy is if the problem cannot be fixed the same day, the zone is shut down avoiding water waste.
A couple of times a year we offer training classes to our citizens on irrigation design, maintenance and water effectiveness. We stress proper maintenance and visual inspections with the systems running. Also, frequent time adjustments of irrigation controllers based on the current weather conditions are made on a weekly basis.
Use of Non-Potable Water
Lone Peak Park and Crescent Park are both hooked to non-potable irrigation water. This is pressurized non-treated water used for watering the grass at these large parks. We hope to use this type of water in more of our parks in the future.
Watering times for parks, streetscapes and City buildings are usually complete by 6:00 am. In some cases, the water runs until 10:00 am in the larger parks. Day watering only occurs during system maintenance or repairs. Our water window is from 9:00 pm to 10:00 am. If you see water on after 10:00 am please look to see if you see City Personnel at the site, before calling. Our maintenance takes place from 7 am till 4:30 pm.
Existing Park Irrigation Renovation
Willow Creek and Eastridge systems have been renovated. These parks are now more efficient in the use of water. The hillside grass irrigation has been separated from the flat grass areas. This allows us to control our watering times better. The hills require intermittent watering and the flat areas can be watered for longer periods of time. This is due to water run off.
Computerized Irrigation Control
Many of the major park systems are controlled using a central irrigation system. This system is also connected to a weather station. The system allows us to make changes to park watering times on a daily basis and consistent with daily weather conditions. Also, the system can detect water line breaks or valves being stuck.
Non-Recreational Turf / Grass Areas in Parks
Many areas of our parks have been converted to planting areas. This allows us to use mulch and water less frequently in these areas. Also, large groups of trees in non-recreational areas have been combined into a mulch area and the grass removed.
Non traditional grasses are used in areas where cover is needed to offset large planted areas. The focus of watering is geared towards the trees and shrubs not the grass. These grasses are only cut a couple times per year.
Park Strips, Roadway and Hillside Landscapes
New installations are geared towards drip irrigation, mulch, boulders, trees and shrubs. These landscapes are watered less frequently and at a slower application rate. Also, the water is put directly at the root zone of each plant.
Traditional Streetscapes with Blue Grass
We are not managing the turf as a priority, rather the large streetscape trees are the priority. We allow the grass to get longer and water less frequently. The trees are the investment not the turf. Where possible we remove the turf and add mulch to conserve water.
Who to call if you have concerns
Irrigation problems at a park, please call 801.568.2900, if it is a commercial or residential location, please call the Water Conservation Hotline at 801.352.4466.