Time of Day Ordinance
The Sandy City Council has passed two ordinances that will affect water use within the city. One ordinance is the Time of Day ordinance which will affect all water users. Sprinkler irrigation of public and private landscapes is prohibited between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. The two exceptions to this restriction are for new lawns within 90 days of planting and for having the irrigation on for short cycles to test, inspect and maintain the irrigation system.
The reason for this restriction is to save water by stopping wasteful watering practices. Irrigating in the middle of the day when it is hot outside leads to wasteful use of water because of evaporation and wind loss. If you water during the heat of the day, you have to water for a longer time to get the same amount of water on your lawn as when it is cooler outside. Essentially by watering in the middle of the day, water is wasted. Most irrigation experts say that watering early in the morning is the best time to irrigate your landscape.
A question you may have is what about other new plantings, do they need to be irrigated as frequently as lawns? As long as you are not growing the plant by seed then the answer is no. All new plantings do need to be watered on a regular basis to get established, but they don't need to be constantly wetted down like turf seed. In cases where your plant does need extra watering during the day, both drip irrigation and hand watering are not restricted. The ordinance can be found in the Sandy City Municipal Code under Title 14-3-2.
Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance
The other ordinance is called the Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance. This ordinance only applies to new and reconstructed landscape for public, commercial, industrial, and developer-installed landscapes for multi-family or single family projects. This ordinance does not apply to single family homes, so for most of you it will have no effect. For those new and reconstructed landscapes where this ordinance does apply there are now standards that need to be followed for assuring that the landscape will be water efficient.
The need for these ordinances goes beyond the drought situation Sandy City residents have faced over the last three years. Utah is among the fastest growing states in the country, but it is also the second driest state in the United States. So water demand is increasing in a state that has very little new supply, thus there is a strong need to conserve. To help in your efforts to save water, Sandy City will be providing various services this year. We have informational handouts that give water conservation tips for both indoors and out. Plant lists that identify drought-tolerant plants are also available. Water audits will be available both for residential, commercial and institutional water users starting in the spring.