Archive for Newsletter – Page 2

Prepare Your Sprinkler System for Pressure Irrigation Season

It’s that time of year again―time to get ready for pressure irrigation. We begin pressuring up the system on April 1, with full water pressure to all customers available by April 15.

Winter can be hard on a sprinkler system. Freeze/thaw cycles can crack pipes that may not have been drained adequately in the fall. Children playing in yards or vehicles driving across lawns can break sprinkler heads. If you don’t check out your sprinklers and make repairs before we pressure up the system, you may have a geyser flooding your front yard.

Before April 1, do the following:

  • Turn off your stop and waste valve to prevent flooding.
  • Disconnect hoses.
  • Check for and repair cracks in standpipes.

WaterPro/Draper Irrigation is not responsible for any parts of your system beyond the stop and waste, so checking and repairing the sprinkler system is your responsibility. If you need help in checking or repairing your system, please contact a qualified landscaper. You might want to consider a landscaper with QWEL (Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper) certification; these landscapers are trained in water-wise practices including plant selection and irrigation system design and management.  Go to www.qwel.net to find a QWEL landscaper.

Utah Dam Safety Update

Two dam crises in the West made headlines in February:

  • The earthen Twentyone Mile dam in Elko County, Nevada failed following heavy rains. There were no injuries reported, but a state highway was closed and property damage occurred.
  • The Oroville Dam in California, the tallest dam in the United States, saw extensive damage from storms in February. The governor of California declared a state of emergency and over 180,000 people were evacuated from their homes downstream from the dam.

What are the chances that Utah could face a similar crisis with one of the many dams in the state?

An article posted on KSL.com on February 13 said that no state-inspected dams are currently a cause for concern, according to Dave Marble, assistant state engineer overseeing dam safety.

Marble noted that about 50 large Utah dams have been upgraded in the last 20 years to address seismic issues, seepage, and spillway capacity. He said that most dam owners are “very responsible” about safety issues and maintenance.

As this winter’s heavier-than-normal snowpack melts, the water puts extra pressure on dams and spillways. Marble points out that spillways are designed to relieve pressure as reservoirs fill. He said that dam safety officials are always vigilant but there is currently no cause for elevated concern.

The Utah Division of Water Rights maintains dam safety information on its website, waterrights.utah.gov. If you visit the site, please note that dams are designated as “high hazard dams” not because they are unsafe, but because their failure could result in loss of life and significant property damage. A dam in a densely populated area would probably be considered a “high hazard dam” regardless of the actual condition of the dam.

Now Accepting Nominations for WaterPro Board of Directors

WaterPro’s annual stockholder’s meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 7 p.m.

If you would like to run for a seat on the board of directors, or if you would like to nominate someone else, please follow the instructions here. In order to be on our board, a person must either be a Class A stockholder or represent a customer (such as a golf course) that holds Class A stock.

Nominations for the Board of Directors must be returned to WaterPro’s office by 4 p.m. on Friday, January 27.

We invite all stockholders to attend our annual meeting, to be held in the City Council Room at Draper City Hall (1020 East Pioneer Road). If you are unable to attend the meeting, we urgently ask you to vote for the directors by returning your ballot to WaterPro before the meeting. Ballots will be distributed after all nominations are submitted.

If you have questions about the meeting or the nominating process, please contact Diana Percival at hope@waterpro.net or 801-571-2232.

Are Small Water Systems Safe?

A recent investigative series by USA Today (published December 13, entitled “Broken System Traps Rural Americans with Poisoned or Untested Water”) paints a very bleak picture of small rural water systems across the country. Does this mean you need to worry about your water supply?

WaterPro and the community of Draper fall far outside the type of water system and community described in the article. USA Today focused on very small systems, some serving only a few hundred people, in mostly impoverished rural areas where there is a lack of money for maintaining high levels of training for employees.

WaterPro is fortunate to be able to provide staff that are not only trained to a high level, but are recognized as leaders in their field. As just one example, Jerry Nielsen, who is in charge of our water treatment plant, was recognized as Operator of the Year by the Intermountain Section of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) in 2007. All WaterPro employees who are responsible for the safety of our water and our system keep their knowledge up-to-date through continuing training and conferences.

Of course, it is possible for any water system to have a contamination event, and no system can promise to provide 100% pure water all the time. But WaterPro does continual testing and monitoring to ensure the safety of our water supply, and to make sure we are compliant with all relevant federal and state regulations.

What about other systems in Utah?

While our customers can have confidence in their water supply, many Draper residents have family or friends in rural areas, or perhaps spend time in small communities themselves. How can you be sure that the water in those communities is safe?

The Rural Water Association of Utah (of which WaterPro is a member, and our Assistant General Manager David Gardner is a board member) responded to the USA Today article with the following points.

  • If you are concerned, your best route is to get involved. Local governments – which in small communities are the residents – are responsible for the safety of the drinking water supply. Local water supplies are operated and governed by people whose families drink the water every day.

The public drinking water supply in rural America is actually very safe. When there are violations, they are often technical in nature – for example, a water sample was not taken exactly in compliance with complicated procedures, or was submitted late. A violation does not automatically mean the water is unsafe. If you hear of a violation, investigate and find out exactly what it means for water safety.

  • The federal operator certification requirements are just as stringent for small towns and rural systems as they are for large systems. Isolated cases where operators are undertrained are not representative of our national drinking water system, which delivers some of the safest water anywhere in the world.
  • Stricter regulations and more fines are not the answer; education is. The Rural Water Association of Utah provides extensive and affordable training and support for small water systems.