Where Does Your Water Come From?

In last month’s newsletter we talked about one reason why customers should use our pressure irrigation (PI) system if they can: because by using the lesser-quality PI water, we can conserve the great-tasting mountain water to serve our customers. This month we will take a closer look at the sources of our water.

Drinking Water

Our highest-quality and best-tasting water comes from seven canyons where  WaterPro holds water rights:

  • Big Willow Canyon has the best water flows year-round. Water from this canyon turns our electric generator, which provides power to operate our water treatment plant.
  • Bear Canyon has a diversion structures high on the hillside so water flows to our treatment plant without pumping. This canyon is our second-best source of water.
  • Corner Canyon provides the poorest-quality mountain water because the watershed is polluted by people who allow dogs off-leash and/or don’t clean up their dogs’ waste. This contamination is so bad that we would be unable to use this water at all without blending it with other water.
  • Bell, Middle Fork, South Fork and Rocky Mouth canyons round out our water rights.

In addition, we get drinking water from several wells, as described last month:

  • The well at our water treatment plant provides the highest-quality water.
  • The well at 1300 East, south of Draper Historical Park, serves the historic area of Draper.

Two new wells will supply water that is harder than the 1300 East well, but this water will be mixed with other water at the treatment plant.

“Banking” Water

During the spring when runoff from the canyons is high and we have more water than we need, we can “bank” water with Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District (JVWCD), which has many more customers than we do. They use our excess water and give us a credit to use later in the season after the snowmelt, when our mountain water supply is lower.

JVWCD has storage rights in Deer Creek and Jordanelle reservoirs for mountain water and wells at the mouth of Cottonwood Canyon that provide high-quality water, so they can provide this good-tasting water for longer in the season than we can manage from our snowpack sources.

Why So Many Water Sources?

The purpose of having so many sources of water is to meet demand at the peak times of midsummer, when people are using a lot of water outdoors. Our goal is to be able to provide the highest-quality water possible, which means minimizing the use of our wells. The best way to do this is for our customers to:

  • Conserve water, especially for outdoor use in the summer.
  • Use lower-quality PI, not culinary, water for outdoor use if possible.

We realize that some customers have objections to using PI water. Next month we will discuss some pros and cons of using this water.

Randy Julander, supervisor of the Utah