NORTH OGDEN (ABC4) – Another city is responding to the drought by updating its water restrictions, but not in the way you might guess. North Ogden is preparing for an early shut-off of its secondary water supply by easing some of its culinary water restrictions.
“Usually, the standard city ordinance is no outside irrigation, period, with culinary water,” North Ogden City Manager Jon Call tells ABC4.
That standard city ordinance is temporarily being relaxed in North Ogden after a unanimous city council decision Tuesday, which, according to Call, is “giving the mayor power in times of drought, or emergency. He can change the way that citizens are allowed to use water.”
If the mayor chooses to use this power in times of drought or emergency to create an ordinance, the council must approve, amend, or reject the ordinance during the next council meeting. During Tuesday’s meeting, the mayor used his power and the council voted unanimously in favor of the new ordinance.
“The mayor said it’s okay to use culinary water trees, shrubs, flowers, gardens, those types of things, but not to water lawn or turf,” explains Call. Call tells ABC4 the ordinance also alows residents to use culinary water for livestock if needed.
Pineview Water Systems provides the city with secondary water to irrigate lawns during the summer.
Ben Quick, treasurer for Pinever, says they normally shut off the secondary water in mid October. However, he states this year it could happen anytime between mid August and the first of September. Quick says they are looking to purchase water, but the sale is pending.
The possibility of the early shut off is the reason for the new ordinance. While some restrictions are eased while the ordinance is in place, residents need to understand what will happen if they use culinary water for lawns. “The flip side of this ordinance is that there’s a pretty steep penalty,” Call states.
Call says those watering lawns with culinary water will get one warning. A second offense will result in a $250 fine. A third offense will result in a $500 fine and a shut off of services until all fines are paid. This, he adds, may seem harsh, but ultimately it will bring some relief during an already hard year. He adds: “That’s something the city’s culinary water can handle, but we wouldn’t be able to keep all the lawns green.”
“The council’s goal is to provide some flexibility without just opening the floodgates to water usage in a way that would be wasteful.”
Ben Quick says Pineview Water Systems wants to remind everyone “the less water we use now, the longer we will have it for the season.”