Many of our customers who have access to our secondary system – also called pressure irrigation, or PI – choose not to use it, instead watering their lawns, gardens, and other landscaping with culinary (drinking) water. In fact, nearly a third of the people who could use the PI system choose not to use it.
WaterPro encourages everyone who has access to the PI system to take advantage of it. For the next few months, we will run a series of articles explaining how our PI system works and why we believe it’s the best choice for our customers who are able to use it.
Who Can Use the PI System?
About two-thirds of our customers can access our PI system. For the most part, this access is determined by elevation, due to the location of our PI pond near the South Mountain golf course. If you are unsure whether you can use our PI system, contact our office at 801-571-2232.
What Happens When People Don’t Use PI?
Why should WaterPro care whether customers use PI or culinary water to sprinkle their lawns and gardens? After all, water is water, right? Well – yes and no.
WaterPro gets water from many sources – a complicated topic that we’ll cover more fully in next month’s newsletter. Broadly speaking, our culinary water comes from the mountains and tastes good. Our PI water comes from other sources and is not good to drink.
However, in the heat of the summer when demand for outdoor water is highest, the mountain water (which mostly comes from snowpack) is starting to run out. When there is too much demand and not enough supply of culinary water, we need to supplement the mountain water with well water, which has a higher mineral content (known as hard water) and doesn’t taste as good as the mountain water.
For many years, we have used water from our well on 1300 East, south of Draper Historical Park to supplement our mountain water in the summer when heavy use makes the culinary supply run short. Because of the way our infrastructure is set up, that water serves people only in the historic area of Draper. Many people in that area object to the taste of the well water – in fact, one of our former directors claimed he wanted to get on our board mostly to prevent use of this water!
New Wells Coming Online
Why should that matter to people who live in other parts of Draper and don’t have to drink the well water? Because with population growth and increasing use of our culinary water, we are developing two new wells. When overuse of the culinary system forces us to use the water from our new wells, we will pump it to our water treatment plant where we will blend it with the mountain water and deliver it to all our customers, so that everyone will be drinking well water and customers in one area are not penalized.
How much difference will it make? When we treat only mountain water in our plant, it comes out with TDS (total dissolved solids) of less than 150. When we blend in the well water and treat it, TDS is closer to 400. While this is perfectly fine from a health standpoint, some customers will notice the difference in taste.
So if you want to continue drinking fresh mountain water all summer long, we encourage you to take advantage of our PI system if you can.