Experts urge Utahns across Wasatch Front to shut off their sprinklers starting October 1

Posted at 6:18 PM, Sep 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-30 20:18:05-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- "Sprinkling is over the 1st of October."

That's the message state water conservationists wants to drill into people's minds. They're asking Utahns to shut off sprinklers October 1, two weeks earlier than last year.

The goal is to save 2.7 billion gallons of water.

“There's a lot of water that can be saved from shutting the water off a little early,” said Scott Paxman, Assistant General Manager with the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District.

Shutting off sprinklers from South Ogden to Salt Lake on October 1 would be two weeks earlier than recommendations in past years, but it's a guideline the state says the entire Wasatch Front should follow.

“Whether you have a secondary system or a culinary system, October 1st is a good time to turn it off,” said Joshua Palmer with the Utah Division of Water Resources.

But why October 1st?

“The days are shorter, the nights are cooler, the plants and grasses will go into dormancy anyway really soon,” Palmer said.

While your landscape won't need the water, the state says they need every drop.

“We're in the middle of a multi-year drought, so some of the water we save this year might be some of the water we need next year,” Palmer said.

The early shut off is just one of the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District's new restrictions this year.

“We started off the season really low on our reservoirs, so we had to come up with several ways of conserving and cutting back our water use,” Paxman said.

This year they've also monitored when and how often residents water.

“We've made a big effort, I think people are responding and seeing it is a big deal,” Paxman said.

Palmer said: “We feel like we have a long ways to go with conservation, but we feel like Utahns are on the right track."