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Pressurized irrigation system abuse could bring citations
by Ashley Langston
Jul 04, 2012 | 347 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
PAROWAN – The Parowan City Council, at its July 28 meeting, discussed the seriousness of residents abusing the pressurized irrigation system and Mayor Don Landes told law enforcement to begin issuing citations.

“Anyone who’s using water when they’re not supposed to is stealing from the rest of the city,” he said.

Police Chief Ken Carpenter said violating the city ordinance and using the system on a day when it is not allowed is a class C misdemeanor and could result in a fine up to $750, to be determined by the court.

City Manager Shayne Scott said they have a water shortage, and there have been times recently when they believed they may have to turn the system off.

“We’re in dire straights with our water,” he said.

City Councilmember Steve Weston said he had spoken with many residents who see that Yankee Meadows reservoir is full and don’t believe there is a water problem.

Landes said many people do not understand that only 25 percent of Yankee belongs to Parowan City. The irrigation company, or the valley’s farmers, own 75 percent of the water in the reservoir.

Scott explained that water comes from Yankee into the “forebay,” and the system draws from that. Every day it goes down, and normally refills, but it isn’t refilling like it should this year, and the water level at Yankee is decreasing.

Residents who have pressurized irrigation are allowed to water only on their two designated days, and there is absolutely no Sunday watering allowed this year.

Aldo Biasi, of Parowan Public Works, said it is obvious that people are abusing the system when he sees so much water leaving the forebay on Sunday.

Scott said current policy is that people will receive three warnings before their water is shut off, and that system is not working. There isn’t anyone designated to go around giving out warnings, though several employees, including himself, have taken some time to do it.

Landes said those warnings are for having the pressurized irrigation water to that property shut off, but the police don’t need to wait for a warning to be given to issue citations. Anyone using the system not on his or her designated day or during unacceptable times (between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.) is violating city ordinance and may be cited.

The council decided to have letters sent out to residents to inform them of the situation’s seriousness and the police department was directed to begin enforcing the ordinance.

Landes also asked residents to be conscious of the water shortage and only use what they need on the days they are allowed to use the system.

Also at the meeting, which was attended by residents of 400 North, the council discussed problems of people speeding on that road. Resident Kelly Carter said she believes they need yield or stop signs to make people slow down.

“It is a huge problem,” she said.

“I hate stop signs, but I don’t want somebody run over,” she added.

Resident Weston Reese said many people in the community treat it like it is a major thoroughfare and not a residential area. He said more signage needs to be posted reminding of the speed limit and that there are children present.

Carter said she does not believe it will make a difference because everyone knows the speed limit and knows there are children there, and doesn’t seem to think their speeding is a problem.

The council was hesitant to put in a four-way stop after a discussion at a meeting earlier this year that four-way stops are dangerous intersections because they create a false sense of security.

Public works will be putting up more signage and police will be patrolling the area as much as possible. The council will discuss the issue again in about 60 days, they said, to see if the new signage has been enough.

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