HARRISVILLE, Utah (ABC4) – On June 9, the city of Harrisville released a proclamation declaring a local emergency due to the extreme drought. City leaders talked to ABC4 about the new water restrictions that come with it.
“We needed to do this, and we need to be proactive and get this going,” said Harriville Mayor Michelle Tait. “We don’t want to get caught at the end of the summer and feel like we should have done something earlier.”
The city’s emergency declaration will last 30 days and then be revisted by the city council. “If we need to we can adjust things, or we can release it if everyone is willing to do this without a proclamation,” Mayor Tait explained.
Until then, new restrictions are in place.
The city will only water it’s facilities twice a week, including its parks. The city splash pad at Harrisville Park will open on July 1 and remain open until August 20. However, this summer it will have limited hours of operation. The new hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Residents are also being asked to only water their lawns on days that correspond with their home or business address. This means even numbered homes may water on even days and odd numbered homes may water on odd days.
Bill Morris, a city administrator, explained that asking residents to water on specific days is, in part, the city’s way to create “a concept in people’s mind about a way to conserve, and it’s simple.” The mayor added that having it done this way also helps maintain a level pressure on water lines.
Residents may not water between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on any given day. Both Mayor Tait and Morris told ABC4 they know adapting to a specific watering routine may be difficult, but it’s what is best for the community as a whole during the drought. The also wanted to remind people that this summer is about keeping plants and lawns alive, not necessarily letting them thrive.
For now, the city will not fine those who don’t comply with the new restrictions. “I don’t want it to be a policing type of thing,” said Mayor Tait. “If we can just bring them up to speed with the city identifying this as a need, and take care of it yourself. That’s what I want.”
For the new restrictions to work and for the city to get rid of those restrictions as soon as possible, both the Mayor and Morris agreed that it’s going to be a team effort from every community member. Morris added, “We can do this. It’s another obstacle after a year of COVID, and this is the next obstacle. We can do it. We can beat it. We’ll get through the drought, but we have got to work together.”
Harrisville is part of the Pineview Water District. The Pineview Reservoir’s capacity is down nearly 50 percent where it should be at this time of year.