Utahns Continue to Over-Water Lawns Despite Rain

Utahns Continue to Over-Water Lawns Despite Rain

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John Daley ReportingMany parts of northern Utah have received plenty of rain the last few days, but that hasn't stopped plenty of people from over-watering their lawns at night.

And thanks to new restrictions coming soon in Salt Lake, over-watering might earn you a fine.

KSL sent a photographer out Tuesday night to get some pictures of people watering their lawns, despite all the rain we've been getting. He says there was no shortage of examples.

Over the last few days much of the Wasatch Front has gotten between a half-inch and an inch-and-a-half of rain. But last night lots of lawns got even more water, including, for example, the Gateway mall where our photographer spotted water running onto the sidewalk and parking lot for much of the night.

This, despite the urgings of water officials and weather specialists. The city's conservation coordinator says lawns are saturated and don't need more for now.

Stephanie Duer, Water Conservation Coordinator: "We had rain Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Certainly it was adequate water to meet the needs of turf for the week. And we're asking that people turn off your sprinklers for the remainder of the week."

Some water watchdogs say the fact people are over-watering means the state needs to do more to help communities conserve.

Erica Thoen, Utah Rivers Council: "I think that now that we're in the 5th year of a drought, we need to see some substance. We need to see some long term planning, implementing water conservation programs and giving communities resources to set up water conservation programs and ways to enforce conservation measures."

Salt Lake City is looking at tough new restrictions that would include fines for wasting water. First offense gets a warning, then a hundred-dollar fine. The fifth offense would mean a thousand-dollar fine.

Stephanie Duer, Water Conservation Coordinator: "There's a list of things that can be included in that, including watering in the gutter, watering during rain events, things like that.”

Jake Boyer, of the Boyer Company, which manages the Gateway, says the watering last night "was probably an oversight by our maintenance crew that will be corrected."

The city's water conservation coordinator suggests those with automatic sprinklers hit the pause button or install monitors that automatically shut the system down when it rains.

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