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The City Journals

Commendation to Riverton residents heading the plea to conserve water

Dec 06, 2016 02:26PM ● By Tiffany Webb

Entrance sign to the water department in Riverton. (Tiffany Webb/City Journals)

By Tiffany Webb | [email protected]

According to Councilman Brent Johnson the current Utah drought has the potential to cripple all of Utah’s cities. 

At the Oct. 18 council meeting, Johnson reported briefly on the effect the drought has had this season on Riverton City and the saving efforts the community took, and can still take, on conserving as much water as possible for years to come.

Currently, the secondary water is shut off for the season. Low water levels in Utah Lake threatened Riverton residents this summer season. The threat meant having secondary water shut off mid-season on Aug. 1.  Luckily, efforts the residents made allowed secondary water to be available till Oct. 1. 

“I want to commend those residents that headed the call to stop wasting,” Johnson said. “Within a week our secondary water consumption went to ten million gallons a day reduction as soon as that plea went out.”

The good news: currently Riverton’s culinary water reservoirs Jordanelle and Deer Creek, are still doing well as far as water capacity. The greatest reservoir is the snow pack. With a good winter season, it can provide water for Utah’s water needs for next season. 

In addition to a good winter season, there are many efforts that Riverton residents can do on their part to help conserve water. One of these programs that residents can take part in is called Flip Your Strip. This is a park strip replacement program.

Residents can save thousands of gallons of water a year by planting perennial plants in these park strips as well as replacing overhead spray sprinklers to a low drip system. Finally, adding mulch or gravel to the strip in conjunction with adding the plants and irrigation drip system will help in conserving water. 

Concrete is not an acceptable replacement in flipping a park strip, according to Mayor Bill Applegarth.

“Usually, along residential areas there are pipes under the park strips if the residents put concrete and it has to be dug up, the public works department will haul it away but will not replace it,” Applegarth said. 

Another effort Riverton residents can make is taking their lawn-dominant yard and renovating it to be a localscape or xeriscape yard. Much like Flip Your Strip the bulk of the yard would be low irrigation planter beds and functional activity zones. 

Lastly, there is another effort Riverton residents can take in conserving water—dialing the settings down for water softeners. Since 2015, Riverton’s water source has been with Jordan Valley, which has meant that residents can now dial down the water hardness.