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Lehi City thanks residents for saving millions of gallons of water

Posted at 10:22 AM, Jul 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-15 00:46:04-04

LEHI, Utah — As Utah continues growing, so does the water demand.

Lehi City has seen nearly 500 new connections to its water systems from 2020 to 2021.

On an average week, each building connected to the Lehi water system uses 16,000 gallons of water.

This past week, Lehi reported only 14,000 gallons were used for each connection.

Cameron Boyle, the assistant city administrator for Lehi City, said they used about 17 percent less water last week compared to what they used in 2020.

“It was impressive compared to how hot it was,” said Boyle.

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That number represented across their city totals to 226 million gallons of water used in Lehi, compared to last year’s 273 million gallons — a more than 46 million gallon difference.

“It’s progress, right?” said Boyle.

Lehi is currently under "Phase 3" water restrictions, meaning residents may not water their yards more than two times a week, with at least two days in between water cycles.

“It still allows your roots to grow deep,” said Boyle.

Some lawns around the city are still lush green, others completely dead, but with the mandate, Boyle said lawns should look somewhere in-between the two extremes.

“We have really relied on the residents to conserve,” said Boyle.

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The more than 46 million gallons of water saved represent about 144-acre feet of pressurized irrigation water — or the water used for landscaping, lawn care, and farms within city limits.

Boyle suggested residents invest in smart controllers to run their sprinkler systems.

The ones used by the city monitor the soil moisture within city parks. The sprinklers turn on in different zones depending on the water needs.

Boyle said because residents use sprinklers during the night, the water pressure is too low for city properties to run their systems, so they run their sprinklers at 75% capacity during the daytime.

“We have to offset the pressure,” said Boyle.

Reservoirs store the water used for these systems on the East side of I-15, but the amount stored is only enough to help Lehi residents for one day.

Read - Utah officials say drought recovery could take years

Yet, the amount is not concerning to city officials.

“We’re in the hottest part of summer, so we can make it through the rest of the year,” said Boyle.

If the city does run out, Boyle said they have an agreement with Orem where they can purchase gallons of water to help them out — something they have done in the past with other counties.
Visit Lehi City's website for more information about how to conserve water.