Water is a precious resource in Colorado, and Arvada is seeking residents' help in preserving it. The City of Arvada has enacted voluntary water …
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Water is a precious resource in Colorado, and Arvada is seeking residents' help in preserving it.
The City of Arvada has enacted voluntary water restrictions this summer to help conserve the city's supply. Jim Sullivan, director of utilities, said the city's water supplies are in good condition, but residents should still conserve for future dry spells.
“We're in a dry period, but we planned for this kind of dry period,” Sullivan said. “The issue would be if it continues into future years.”
Arvada follows Denver Water's lead concerning drought watch and water preservation, and Denver Water recently declared a stage-one drought watch because of incredibly dry conditions this year, said Stacy Chesney, public information officer for Denver Water.
“We've always had (voluntary restrictions) out there,” Sullivan said. “We call them more of guidelines than restrictions.”
Even though the call to preserve water is voluntary, residents who overwater their lawns, meaning water is flowing off the grass onto the sidewalks or streets, will face repercussions.
“We'll contact them and tell them, `Don't do that,'” Sullivan said. “Most people do it by accident because they forgot or their sprinklers got stuck. If it's a chronic case and happens more often, we'll issue fines. Mostly we just want compliance.”
The most effective way to save water is to reduce sprinkler use by following the city's watering schedule and guidelines found at www.arvada.org/about-arvada/voluntary-summer-lawn-watering-guidelines.
For stationary sprinkler heads, the guidelines suggest 11 minutes per watering day in May and September, 17 minutes in June and August, and 20 minutes in July; for rotating sprinkler heads, these times are doubled.
Another way to get the most out of watering time is to use the “cycle-and soak-watering method,” the guidelines say.
By watering grass three times in four-minute increments, with an hour between each cycle, the soil can absorb more water and watering time will be more effective, the guidelines say.
Sullivan also recommended simple things like only running a clothes washing machine or dishwasher when there is a full load, or turning off the water while brushing one's teeth, can help conserve water and reduce water bills.
“It's kind of common-sense stuff, but sometimes people forget,” he said.
Chesney said the watering guidelines have proved effective for Denver Water users.
“They've reduced use by 20 percent since 2002,” Chesney said. “Part of the reason we're in better shape is because the customers have conserved, so we hope they answer the call and continue to conserve.”
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