Don't water on Wednesdays. That was the edict - albeit voluntary - handed down Tuesday by the City Council after a standing-room-only discussion of the problem.
Residents came to the meeting complaining of little water pressure and formerly lush, green lawns turning brown. The city's graywater system had apparently been hit with a one-two punch.First, a valve broke in one of the city's pumphouses when employees tried to open it to feed the system from a newly connected line to the Salt Lake Aqueduct. And then demand on the water that was available in the part of the city that gets the water first was so great that residents downstream were left virtually high and dry, according to Ott Dameron, city administrator. The area left dry was primarily along the east bench.
The broken valve cannot be replaced until winter, Dameron said, because the Salt Lake Aqueduct would have to be shut down. Meanwhile, short-term solutions to the water shortage are working. In addition to asking residents not to water their lawns and gardens on Wednesdays so the reservoir can refill, the council earlier asked that water users with water lines over one inch in diameter not water on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Officials had already asked that residents not water daily between noon and 6 p.m.
The city's initial water supply comes from the North Union Canal, which dumps into a reservoir at about 200 E. 700 North. That's pumped to a reservoir at 980 E. 140 North and then pumped to a hillside reservoir at about 1300 E. and 120 North. But because of demand and dry hot weather, not much water made it to the last reservoir.
Demand for water in Lindon is expected to grow. Officials expected a 3 percent to 5 percent growth pattern, but instead were saddled with a 15 percent to 20 percent growth rate the past few years, said Mayor Scott Cullimore.
Frustrated, Councilman Steve Smith said, "We're not a school. Common sense can't be taught. When lawns are green don't water day after day."
Cullimore said new houses in the city are a liability to the system for about 12 years. He said it takes that long for new residents' taxes to catch up with expenses.
Although the edict not to water on Wednesdays is voluntary, officials indicated they'll consider an ordinance that would make it mandatory and impose penalties on violators. The council also waived overcharge penalties on culinary water until the matter is settled.