Water restrictions begin May 1 | CraigDailyPress.com

Water restrictions begin May 1

Matt Stensland

— With snowpack at levels well below average, local water providers Wednesday announced water restrictions that will go into place May 1.

The snowpack is at 64 percent of average, and the forecast is calling for a warm spring and dry summer, according to a news release distributed by the four districts that provide water in the Steamboat Springs area. The districts putting the restrictions into place are the Mount Werner Water & Sanitation District, the city of Steamboat Springs, the Steamboat II Metro District and the Tree Haus Metro District.

"The May 1 date will allow landscapers, businesses, and homeowners to set timers to the Stage 2 watering schedule right at the start of the season,” Mount Werner Water General Manager Jay Gallagher said in the news release.

No outdoor watering will be allowed on Wednesdays and on any day between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Residents with an odd-numbered address will only be allowed to water on Monday, Thursday and Saturday. Residents with an even-numbered address may water on Sunday, Tuesday and Friday. Complexes with multiple addresses can choose which watering schedule they want to follow.

Permits may be issed for newly-sodded lawns and newly-planted trees for up to 14 consecutive days and for newly-seeded lawns for up to 25 consecutive days.

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Residential car washing will only be allowed with a bucket or spring-loaded hose nozzle.

Residents are encouraged to use a broom to clean things like sidewalks and driveways. Drinking water may not be used for dust control, and swimming pools may only be filled once, unless the pool needs to be drained for repairs.

Water features that use drinking water must recycle the water.

According to the news release, the water restrictions will save water and also reduce the demand on water filtration facilities, which will in turn lower operating costs.

"In the long run, wise water use and lowering per capita usage will also allow the community to defer the large capital costs of an expansion of the filtration plant," city of Steamboat Springs Water Resource Manager Kelly Heaney said in the release.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

Tips for conserving water

• Avoid watering in windy conditions.

• Adjust sprinklers to avoid watering hard surfaces.

• Set timers to avoid over-watering. Less water will induce grassroots to seek water deeper in the soil horizon, which will strengthen your lawn.

• Our clayey soils slow the penetration of water, so it is better to water for three short intervals than for one long interval.

• When irrigating with a hose, use a spring-loaded nozzle, not a free-running hose.

• Cut your lawn no shorter than 3 inches to reduce soil moisture loss and to promote deeper roots.

• Avoid planting trees and shrubs or sodding new lawns during the drier, hotter months.

• Plant native grasses and shrubs or drought-tolerant species in place of water-intensive species.