Warm weather, issues with treatment plant leads to watering restrictions in Ogden

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FILE: Sprinklers water a lawn.

OGDEN, Utah – Ogden City officials have announced a Phase III water shortage this week, and the move requires city residents to comply with certain water restrictions.

According to a press release from Ogden City issued Thursday, the city is activating their Water Shortage Management Plan due to a combination of unusually warm weather and the inability to treat water at Ogden City’s water treatment plant. The Phase III requirements will be evaluated again once the water treatement plant is operational.

The press release states the water treatment plant normally operates from mid-May to September each year, and the city has been restructuring the plant since the fall of 2014. Recently, leaking pipes were discovered near the plant, and those pipes and other issues have delayed completion of the project.

The delay to the project and the warm weather have, “created the potential for a severe water shortage. Even without the water treatment plant in operation, the city is capable of producing and delivering sufficient water for normal indoor needs,” according to the press release.

Residents are strongly encouraged to delay the use of lawn sprinklers until later in the season, and once watering begins residents are restricted to one half-inch of water every four days during the months of April and May. A free water audit is available to residents who contact Ogden City, and that can help determine the rates of application for their watering system.

Watering is prohibited between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., and swimming pools should be allowed to drop 4 inches below full capacity and covers should always be in place when pools are not in use. Hard surface washing, on things like sidewalks and driveways, is prohibited and washing personal vehicles at home is highly discouraged.

Initial violations of the mandatory restrictions carries a $125 civil penalty, and second violation is $250. Subsequent violations are $500.

Commercial and industrial water users are encouraged to reduce water use by 25 percent, and the press release also included other suggestions.

  • Daily watering should be avoided as residents are counseled to water at most every other day.
  • Long run times on sprinkler cycles is discouraged.
  • Irrigation systems should be kept in good repair.
  • Landscape water should not be running off property.
  • Visit slowtheflow.org for more water saving ideas.

City officials stated in the press release that they hope residents will respond to Phase III restrictions so that Phase IV restrictions do not become necessary. Residents with questions or who would like to schedule a free water audit can call Ogden City Water Utility at 801-629-8329.