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SANDY RESIDENTS TOLD TO CONSERVE OR BE FORCED TO RATION WATER LATER

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Residents are asked to reduce their water usage now or face mandatory rationing later this summer, Mayor Steve Newton said.

The City Council, in an emergency session Thursday night, approved a proposal to implement voluntary odd-even lawn-watering schedules, particularly in the Alta Canyon area.The shortage in part arises from the city's arrangement to receive treated water.

Sandy owns one-third of the water coming out of Little Cottonwood Canyon and sells it to Salt Lake County Water Conservancy District, because the city lacks the facilities to treat it.

The city then buys back the water at a higher price after the district has it treated at Metropolitan Water District of Salt Lake City's Little Cottonwood Treatment Plant.

"It's not a supply problem here. It's capacity," said public works director Darrel Scow.

The district now needs to use all of the plant's capacity to supply Salt Lake City residents. So, the district must either interrupt its treatment of Sandy's water or ask Salt Lake City residents to curtail usage.

"In all honesty, this is the only point of our system that is having a problem this year," said David Ovard, Salt Lake County Water Conservancy District general manager.

Sandy officials, citing new growth and dry conditions, forecast a 15 percent increase in water needs this summer over 1988. But the conservancy district won't be able to supply water to Alta Canyon residents.

The district, however, "can fulfill the entire contract with Sandy City" as it now stands, said Ovard.

The key to meeting the needs of roughly 22,000 people, said Newton, is to conserve now or issue tickets later.

"Last year, Salt Lake City actually rationed some of its large users in order to give us an extra 10 million gallons of capacity," the mayor told the council. "They don't have any more water to give us," this year. "And we need 15 percent more."

The request is to head off any potential problems later this summer, particularly on the heavy water-use days of July 5 and July 25, Scow said.

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(Additional information)

Water according to schedule

Sandy residents whose house numbers end with 1,3,5,7, or 9 are asked to water lawns on odd-numbered days.

Residents with even-numbered house addresses should water on even-numbered days.

Homeowners are also asked to put off planting new lawns and shrubs that require constant watering.

Mayor Steve Newton warned that should the situation worsen, with prolonged dry conditions and increased demands, the odd-even plan will become mandatory for residents east of 13th East. Heavy users such as schools and churches may also face rationing.

If conditions become really bad, Newton said, all water usage by Sandy residents will be restricted.