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PAYSON IMPOSES MORE WATER LIMITS

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A dry July has led city officials to impose further water restrictions and consider enforcing previous restrictions, in order to lessen the risk of overburdening Payson's irrigation and culinary water systems.

As of July 23, in-city irrigation water users will be issued new irrigation schedules showing watering turns every 10 days, instead of the usual seven-day schedule.The restrictions have been imposed because the city is one of many in the West to experience drought conditions for a fourth consecutive year, according to Mayor Richard Harmer's proclamation letter, which accompanies current water billings.

"The dry conditions have caused diminished flow from several springs in Payson Canyon that help provide culinary water for the city's residents and businesses," Harmer said.

Subnormal snowpack has also diminished the amount of water available to service the city's irrigation water customers, Harmer said, which makes the further restrictions necessary.

"In addition, we request that other water conservation measures be taken, where possible, to reduce non-essential water usage," Harmer said.

Irrigation clerk Dora Edvalson said the change to 10-day intervals could provide for better management of available irrigation water.

The new schedule will "increase the size of the stream, thus allowing for more efficient watering and less waste," Edvalson said.

Those who haven't received a new schedule or have questions can call Edvalson, 465-9226 or watermaster George Nielsen, 465-2213.

The schedule change follows a mayoral proclamation earlier this month that asked residential culinary water users to restrict their watering to an odd-even schedule, with odd-numbered residences watering on odd-numbered days of the month and vice-versa. Officials asked that residents only water from 7 p.m. to midnight and 5 a.m. to 11 a.m.

However, Harmer said that many residents are either not following the suggested watering times or have not been informed (though a mailer included with monthly water billings details the schedule) of the change.

"Although efforts have been made to publicize the proclamation, there is a big concern that many residents have not yet become aware of the schedule."

Harmer said he has sent out letters to all of the city's churches and religious organizations asking leaders to make their congregations aware of the restrictions.

City Administrator Glen Vernon said that, if forced, the city will enforce the watering hours for the forseeable future.

"Because water usage has remained at a very high level, it is now necessary to make compliance with the scheduling mandatory," Vernon said.

Although the schedule changes have been made through mayoral proclamation, that measure is as enforceable as a city ordinance, though officials hope they won't have to go that far, Vernon said.

"I don't see anything happening as far as people getting cited for non-compliance, at least not yet."

Both restrictions will remain in effect until further notice by the mayor or City Council.

(Additional information)

Restrictions:

- 10-day irrigation cycles, with schedules provided by the city.

- Culinary watering system: even-numbered addresses on even-numbered calendar days, from 7 p.m. to midnight and 5 a.m. to 11 a.m.; odd-numbered addresses on odd-numbered calendar days, same hours.