In order to fully utilize every available water resource, lower costs, and benefit the environment, the District has constructed a dual water supply system over the past three decades to serve new development. District customers north of E. 96th Avenue or east of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge (“RMA”) have two water systems: a potable system for indoor use and a separate non-potable system for use in underground irrigation systems. All water provided to customers south of E.96th and west of the RMA is treated drinking water. Here is a map showing the areas of the District that have and do not have the separate irrigation system:
The dual system includes separate irrigation and potable water systems that provide water for about 33,000 households and businesses. The irrigation system includes its own set of alluvial wells and completely separate infrastructure from the potable drinking water supply system. Each system includes separate pipelines, pump stations, and reservoirs used to deliver the different supplies. The dual system allows the District to maximize our water rights, to save costs in deferring for many years the construction of an additional treatment plant and not treating irrigation water to drinking water standards, and to benefit the environment by avoiding the use of additional electricity and transport of chemicals used in producing drinking water.
Because the water in the Separate Irrigation System is not meant for drinking, the water is not treated and it should not be consumed. The water will have higher concentrations of naturally occurring minerals and bacteria. It also will have man-made substances, including volatile organic compounds and PFAS, at levels which, although in the low parts per trillion range, are above levels set by the government for drinking water. This water is suitable for application on lawns and plants. The District has prepared an information sheet on PFAS and the Separate Irrigation System at https://www.sacwsd.org/249/PFAS-Information. The water in the Separate Irrigation System is not “recycled” or “reclaimed” water, i.e., water that is supplied into the system from a wastewater plant, nor is it “greywater” or untreated water from showers, clothes washers, and non-kitchen faucets.
Mandatory Irrigation Schedule
Irrigation shall not occur between the hours of 10:00 am and 6:00 pm.
Residents are allowed 3 watering days a week. Watering days based on even/odd last number of street address.
|City Utility Special Use Permit Only
Using the System
It is important to understand that the entire separate irrigation system is a non-potable system, not for drinking. Customers served by the District's dual irrigation system will need to maintain their system's components including the Pressure Vacuum Breaker (PVB) assembly installed on the irrigation system.
Spring Start-up Instructions
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The District begins charging the irrigation water transmission line the week of April 15th. Once the lines are charged, property owners will be able to access irrigation water to their separate irrigation system by completing the following instructions:
- Follow the Startup Instructions to turn your system on, and be sure to turn it off each winter.
- Check for broken sprinkler heads and irrigation system pipes that are broken and causing puddling in the lawn. Turn your system off at the “stop and waste” valve until the leaks are repaired.
- Adjust sprinklers for head-to-head coverage, and make sure they are spraying on landscaped areas, not streets or sidewalks.
- Adjust your time clock to irrigate your lawn appropriately for each zone, please follow the mandatory watering schedule.
- If you hire a professional to provide irrigation start-up and shut-down services, be sure they are knowledgeable about the separate irrigation system and familiar with the District’s Rules and Regulations.
Fall Shutdown Instructions
Winterizing your system is crucial to preventing damage from freezing during the winter months.
Irrigation shut down is October 15th. Make sure to have your system winterized on or before this date.
The following shutdown instruction procedures, and/or watching the short video, will guide you through a few simple steps to ensure that your system is properly shut down for the winter: