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‘Water police’ aim to educate violators of watering rules

Officials with the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District are out looking for residents who are over-watering and not following current watering rules with secondary water in Davis and Weber counties.
Officials with the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District are out looking for residents who are over-watering and not following current watering rules with secondary water in Davis and Weber counties.
Brandon Whitworth, Deseret News

SOUTH OGDEN — With weather reaching the mid 90s and low 100s this week along the Wasatch Front, officials with the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District are out looking for residents who are over-watering and not following current watering rules.

“We don’t just have this endless supply of water,” said David Rice, water program manager.

Weber Basin water supplies water to dozens of cities in Davis and Weber counties. For a list of cities and their restrictions, visit www.weberbasin.com and look under city websites.

Last month, the district started enforcing water restrictions for all its secondary water users in order to meet a 20 percent reduction in water use. Customers are to water no more than three days per week until Labor Day (Sept. 7) and water no more than two days per week from Sept. 7 to Oct. 1. The district does not allow outside watering between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Rice said he and his staff have issued at least 90 warnings to residents and businesses for over-watering in the past few weeks; but those warnings have declined over the years.

“They’re aware we are out watching,” Rice said.

"Most of the warnings issued in the first weeks of June are first-time offenders," he said.

The first time a resident is caught disobeying the water restrictions he or she will receive a written violation on their door. If the same residence or business is issued a second violation, he said water district employees will try to make personal contact.

“Our goal is to educate the public,” Rice said.

Third-time violators could have their secondary water shut off.

“If we notice someone isn’t responding, the consequence could be to shut off your secondary water,” Rice said, “Last year we had to do that twice. Luckily this year we haven’t had to do it at all.”

The offender will have to pay a $100 fee to turn it back on; if not they will not have secondary water for the rest of the season, Rice explained.

The Weber Basin Water Conservancy District website also offers tips to “slow the flow” and keep your garden and grass green all summer.

Resources are available at www.weberbasin.com/conservation. They also offer a free water check program where a representative will come to the house or business and help the owner make a specific watering plan to maintain their yard all summer.

Anyone with questions can call 801-771-1677.

Contributing: Viviane Vo-Duc

Email: nvowell@deseretnews.com