Washington City Utah | (435) 656-6300
111 North 100 East | Washington, Utah 84780 [map]
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Parks & Recreation
Southern Utah has always been a great place to live, and in this arid climate water has always been an important resource. With the increased growth and increasing drought water conservation has been more important than ever. The Washington City Parks Department has done their part to conserve water and will be continuing to improve the efficient use of their water resources. Many of the ways the City strives to save water can be duplicated by homeowners in their own lawns and landscapes. To help water infiltrate deeper into our soils where it can be better used by our plants we use the “cycle, soak” method. This is done by taking the normal amount of time an irrigation zone would water and dividing it by three. Run the irrigation zone for three short runs with approximately an hour between each start time. This will put water on more slowly allowing it time to absorb into the soil without running off and into the gutter, putting more water deep in the soil where the plants can use it. This encourages deeper root growth because more water is available deeper in the soil. Scheduling is another important part of our water conservation. During the hottest parts of the summer we water turf areas every other day. This gives the grass the water it needs while encouraging deeper root growth as the top layer of soil begins to dry out. To avoid using water during peak demand (5am- 9am), the parks water their turf areas late at night, and drip zones are run during the mid mornings before the heat of the day. This helps us to use city water during times it is not in demand for showers, toilets and other household uses. Parks daytime watering is limited to secondary water systems or for checking function and making repairs of irrigation systems. The Washington City cemetery, athletic fields and some other areas use untreated secondary water for irrigation. Daytime watering is still kept to a minimum, but due to scheduling and limited capacities it is still often needed to use secondary water during the day. Regular sprinkler checks by the parks staff during morning hours helps to improve efficiency by making adjustments as needed and finding leaks quickly. Healthy turf will also need less water. During the summer months we mow the parks at a height of 3 to 3.5 inches. This helps to create a larger healthier plant. The longer the grass blades grow the deeper the roots can grow, allowing them to access water reserves deeper in the soil. The Parks Department is always trying to use water wisely and to make improvements. In the upcoming months we will be removing turf from smaller unused areas as well as areas not well suited for growing grass and replacing them with more water wise landscapes. We will also be using drip irrigation whenever possible, converting pop up irrigation zones to drip, this will mean less evaporation, increased efficiency, and the ability to be watered during the morning outside of peak use times. This fall we will be replacing failed trees with trees that are better suited to our climate and low water use.
–Paul Walker, Parks & Recreation