Water supply to lawns cut off after Farmington residents water lawns at restricted times

FARMINGTON, Utah – In the 38 years Scott Parcel has been working for the Benchland Water District, he says he’s never seen anything like it.

“It was definitely an ‘uh oh, we’re in trouble (moment),’” Parcel said, now the District Manager. He’s referring to the Farmington's secondary water supply.

“You couldn’t get a teaspoon out of it,” he said when he went to take a look Tuesday morning. “It was bare bottom.”

Parcel said the problem started with a lack of snow pack, and poor water shed conditions. As a result, Farmington had to initiate water restrictions to the 5,000 plus residents for the first time in nearly 15 years. However, some residents chose to use water during restricted hours. So, a team of six people from the water department started making the rounds. If they caught someone, it would be a warning, a second offense would trigger a $50 citation, a third offense, $250, and another would turn your water off for the rest of the year.

“And some people decided they just didn’t care,” said Scott Taylor, a Farmington resident. “It’s frustrating because I’m on the inlet street. So, most everybody who lives here sees my yard. So, I don’t want my yard to be all burned.”

But Taylor won’t have the opportunity to water his lawn Tuesday; in fact, no one will. Because the entire supply was drained Monday night for the first time ever.

“They decided to water all they want,” said Paul Hirst, an engineer in the city. He said the city handed out 400 citations over the weekend and believes that some of those people decided to leave their water on all night in response, just to get revenge.