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South Jordan Journal

South Jordan’s water conservation efforts

Aug 10, 2020 12:52PM ● By Susan Palmer

By Susan Palmer | [email protected]

Water is a precious commodity, especially this year. 

As the spring months of 2020 were some of the driest on record with significantly decreased rainfall in Salt Lake County, water conservation is even more important.  This, coupled with the facts that Utah is normally the second-driest state in the United States, and the population has now reached 85,000 people and growing in South Jordan, has further exacerbated the problem.  The cooler temperatures Utah experienced early this summer suddenly switching to triple-digit temperatures in July are also a scenario for increased water usage.

SoJo leaders have been making a concerted effort to conserve water resources for the last 15 years under the guidance of SoJo City Manager Gary Whatcott.  Gov. Gary Herbert’s Office of Management and Budget recognized SoJo with a special honor last October that was the first-ever presented for diligent, strategic consideration of water security, water preservation and other issues.  The new award was named the “Water Efficiency Award,” and SoJo was declared Water-Smart SoJo.  SoJo has been a leader in the State of Utah on water conservation and other cities have been following their example.

As SoJo continues to grow, the need for water for potable drinking water and irrigation water is spurring on efforts for wastewater reuse.  This effort has the possibility of becoming a permanent secondary or even primary supply of water not just for SoJo but for many other cities in Salt Lake County.

SoJo has implemented projects such as a water meter installation on culinary water.  This project compares SoJo residents with neighboring users and sends this information to them monthly in their utility bills.  This is an effort to slow the usage of culinary water so people can see their usage in comparison with surrounding users.  Also, a program of metering the secondary water system has been put in place to allow users to monitor the amount of water used for irrigation of landscaping. Public Works Director Jason Rasmussen said, “What they found is when residents can see the segments of water, they are using on their yards it causes them to use less.  So that is our goal.”

There has also been a 2020 Rebate Program put in place.  

A Water-wise plant rebate of $300 is offered  when drought-tolerant plants are used to convert coexisting turfparkstrips to a park strip with water-wise plants in conjunction with a SoJo Drip System Conversion kit. 

South Jordan City Drip System Conversion Kit can be provided to a resident to assist in the conversion of an existing turfparkstrip to a park strip with water-wise plants. This program may be used in conjunction with the water-wise plant rebate program.  Each Kit includes all the necessary parts to convert a standard park strip from traditional spray heads to a drip system.

South Jordan City Rock Mulch SoJo is providing rock mulch to qualifying residents for use in the park strip as a replacement for turf grass. This program is designed to help reduce residential water use and waste in the park strip. The material provided may vary in size and color and is subject to availability and funds for the program. Residents will abide by SoJo code and make sure that the park strip is covered with at least 50% vegetation at maturity of the plant and that all plants are to be irrigated with a drip system.

Toilet Replacement Rebate. Replace an old high-flush toilet with a new 1.28gpf or less and get up to $200 back when replacing two qualifying toilets. 

Indoor Water Fixture Rebate.  If you replace an old high-flow showerhead or faucet with a new water-sense fixture, you could get up to $200 back.

Other long-term water projects include the reverse osmosis of the underground aquifer present under the southwestern part of the Salt Lake Valley that has been polluted with heavy metals by mining operations.  This project has been underway for 10 years and is expected to continue for 30 more years before this large underground source of water is again useable. 

For more information on rebates, see the website at www.watersmartsojo.org/rebates.php or contact South Jordan City Water Conservation Coordinator Jordan Allen at 801-253-5203 Ext.1720 or through email at [email protected]