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Heber Valley nears end of watering season

midway_sprinklers.jpg
Heber Valley Chamber of Commerce
Irrigation water will continue to run in Midway until it runs out or freezing weather hits, according to the Midway Irrigation Company director.

September 15 was once the potential cutoff date for watering lawns in the Heber Valley, but as the day approaches, officials say it’s not ending just yet.

As summer draws to a close, so does the lawn-watering season. Water officials say to expect sprinklers to run dry sometime this month or next.

The Midway Irrigation Company was planning to shut off irrigation water Thursday. The company now says it will keep it flowing for weeks to come until it runs out or the weather starts to freeze. Pressure may be lower, though, according to Mike Kohler, the Midway Irrigation director who’s also a state representative for Wasatch County and Park City.

Midway officials weren’t as confident the season would last late back in July. Then, Kohler and Midway Mayor Celeste Johnson said city water supply was critically low and asked users to cut back.

Midway is one of many irrigation companies in the Heber Valley. Most of the others get water from the Central Utah Water Conservancy District and tend to end delivery at the same time.

Central Utah Water Heber Valley Area Manager Roger Pearson says most Heber City residents could stop receiving water as soon as a couple weeks from now. But that’s up to the Provo River Water commissioner, who hasn’t made the call yet.

“Generally, he watches the forecast, and if it’s cold and wet, there’s a chance he could call the irrigation season,” Pearson says. “If it’s hot and dry, he could extend it, just based on water availability.”

The end of irrigation water delivery doesn’t impact culinary water, which is what flows through people’s homes.

In September, according to Pearson, water companies sometimes shut off irrigation water to conserve it when there’s already sufficient moisture in the ground.

“It’s nice carrying a little water over to use kind of as money in the bank for next year just in case we have a bad, hot summer,” he says.

He said when his office gets word that irrigation water is turning off, it will work with local cities and special service districts to get the word out to residents.

The only cutoff date that’s already set is for Wasatch Irrigation Company share owners whose water comes from a flood ditch. They’ll stop receiving delivery on Sunday, September 25.

Companies like Midway Irrigation, Lake Creek Irrigation, Daniel Irrigation and Center Creek Irrigation don’t need to follow Central Utah Water’s last day because their water comes from other places.

Pearson recommended people call their specific water providers for more information.

He also thanked Heber Valley residents for being efficient with water use this year. He attributed the continued water availability this late in the summer to their low usage and several timely rainstorms.

Ben Lasseter reports for KPCW in Wasatch County. Before moving to Heber City, Ben worked in Manti as a general assignment newspaper reporter and editor.
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