North Ogden leaders worry about drinking water supplies because of the ongoing drought | Surroundings

NORTH OGDEN – North Ogden executives have started to focus on protecting potable water, not just secondary water used to feed lawns.

If secondary water systems shut down earlier than normal, as can happen, officials fear property owners will subsequently use their feedwater – the stuff you drink and cook with – to keep their grass green.

“The ‘threat’ would be misuse / use of feed water on lawns. We have enough water to keep the system running normally, but not every resident can water their lawn with feed water, ”North Ogden City Attorney Jon Call said in an email.

Mayor Neal Berube declared a “critical water emergency” last Tuesday after receiving approval from North Ogden City Council, which resulted in a ban on the use of feed water on lawns. Allowing such use would “overwhelm” the drinking water supply, which in North Ogden comes from wells and natural springs, Berube said.

At the same time, the city council issued an ordinance in which the sanctions for violations by residents were specified. After an initial warning, they would face a violation and a $ 250 fine. Third violations, still a violation, would be fined $ 500, while fourth violations would be classified as Class B offenses and processed by the district court.

Berube told the standard auditor that he hopes no fines and charges will be necessary. “We hoped that our education and information efforts would avoid anything beyond warning,” he said.

Residents could continue to use feed water for trees, bushes and gardens, angering Councilor Phil Swanson during the discussion on the matter on Tuesday. “I think we are generous with a very limited resource,” he said.

While the drought continues across Utah, the focus in managing the situation has been on encouraging the public to reduce turf irrigation to conserve the resource. However, North Ogden officials are getting nervous about the city’s drinking water supply.

The natural springs that provide drinking water in North Ogden “are not at normal levels,” Call said, so the water authorities have to tap into the city’s well system. Getting well water out of the ground is more expensive, he went on, so the city council will address water charges at the panel meeting scheduled for July 27th.

Swanson said it was difficult to determine exactly how much was left in the city’s drinking water reserves. “The reality is we just don’t know how much we have down there,” he said.

City officials plan to alert the public of the water emergency through mailers, social media, and more.

The inflow of secondary water, the untreated water from Pineview Reservoir, and other sources used to water lawns are usually shut off in mid-October. However, given the drought, officials have said they will likely need to turn it off sooner. Ben Quick, general manager of Pineview Water Systems, which supplies North Ogden with secondary water, said he hopes to keep the secondary water supply on until September 1, although a date has not yet been set.

Pineview officials had previously said the secondary water may need to be turned off in early August, but Quick said the public responded to calls to reduce irrigation.

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