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Restrictions prevent culinary water outages in Lehi

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Posted at 2:51 PM, Jun 23, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-23 16:51:02-04

LEHI, Utah – Drought concerns have created water restrictions in some Utah County communities, and as summer stretches on more cities may clamp down on water use.

There was a 70 percent cut in irrigation water in Lehi, which prompted some homeowners to water their lawns and gardens with culinary water, which includes the water out of spigots attached to the outside of homes.

Lehi City Administrator Derek Todd said city officials warned residents that outages were possible this week if they didn’t stop using culinary water for irrigation. Fortunately, those outages were avoided.

"Because of them we averted the crisis,” he said. “[We] now have more culinary water coming in from our wells than is going out."

Some residents, like Jeff Stone, are concerned that the restriction to water only every other day will be bad lawns and gardens.

"We've invested a lot of time and energy in this, and I don't want to see it go because Lehi City failed to plan correctly,” Stone said regarding his vegetable garden.

Todd said the sudden shortage of water was not because of a lack of planning.

"I think we bought enough water, the problem was it wasn't delivered to us by the water companies,” he said. “Is that their fault?  No.  It's the fault of the drought."

Todd said the city plans to buy an extra 1,000 acres of water, and he said the city will dig two new wells next year. The water restrictions enacted will remain in place for the summer, and other Utah County communities may follow suit. Pleasant Grove has already enacted a watering schedule.

"Pleasant Grove was one of the first to implement these water restrictions,” Todd said. “We've heard now American Fork will have to do water restrictions for residential use, it's gonna be a big problem.”