Water ordinances and rules/laws

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by DanaMac, Jan 15, 2003.

  1. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,209

    What rules or laws are out there for irrigation to ensure proper irrigation installation and prevent water loss or run-off? Colorado Springs City Council, which is the board of directors for the city utilities, is creating a landscape ordinace with help from some local landscapers. I know of a few rules so far that are going into effect:

    Mandatory rain sensors on new installs. Not sure about existing systems. This is seems to always be the first thing they ask for when these problems come up. Bad thing is, we didn't get any damn rain for them to work last year.

    Heads with check valves are going to be mandatory. Not sure if that is for all heads through out the systems, or just on major slopes.

    I believe they are also forbidding any new systems with auto drains.

    I've heard mention of master valves but not sure if they are going that route. I don't like them on residential. Then I can't work on the system if they are not home if the master valve is inside.

    I do believe in the licensing but that is a state issue not a city one I believe. How are your rules/laws enforced? Is every system checked out by someone?
  2. Ground Master

    Ground Master LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    Dana, I had not heard of or council implementing this ordinace.

    Hell, they can't even figure out how to resolve traffic issues within our city......now they are getting into this.

    They ought to enforce the watering restrictions that were mandated last summer. I'm sure you've seen (like I have) many violating it.

    Heads with check valves?.......is this every head on a zone?........or just those on slopes?

    master valves?.......what the hell will that do?............Its very rare that a system keeps on running when a valve won't shut off.

    I can see the rain sensor thing.....but thats another minimalistic approach.

    They need to persue commercial and industrial users.......they are by far the biggest wasters of water.......
  3. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,209

    Council talked aboit it at one of the meetings I was at last summer. And they are meeting with a few of the bigger companies here but I don't want to name them here. It is going to include how much turf you can put down on your lot as well. Some percentage.

    They are also talking about no turf for areas under 3 or 4 feet in width. This would include the narrow areas between homes in the tract home neiborhoods and the lame strip between the sidewalk and street.

    Check valves - like I said I don't know if it is all or only on slopes
    Master valve - I like it for new commercial sites. And it would lower some water usage for a lot of homeowners but I don't want it for resi. My biz is maily repair and service and many calls I get are for stuck valves.

    Rain sensor - good devices BUT if we have no rain they don't help, and Ground Maaster you know the afternoon thunderstoms we usually get in the summer. These would shut a lot of the sensors down but it usually isn't enough water for the lawn. Especially if we can only water 2-3 times a week.

    Commercial and industrial users - definitely big wastes. And hopefully something will also be done about that.
  4. Ground Master

    Ground Master LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    Pretty much agree with all your points........

    I just think the council is paying lip service to the public by trying to micro-manage every little detail of someones yard.....

    They should stick with general policys like water restrictions.

    Like I said in a previous post, the issue becomes enforcement........why create a policy that can not be enforced?

    They can't even enforce water restrictions......

    I'll give them credit for trying, but they are not looking at the big picture.
  5. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,209

    Newest update for our ordinances - these are not official yet but will supposedly be in effect starting March 15th

    This list if for new systems installed in Colorado Springs:
    ALL sprinkler heads will have check valves
    ALL systems will have master valves
    ALL systems will get rain sensors
    No auto drains
    Pressure set below 65 psi to prevent fogging
    No above grond watering of grass sections less than 8' wide - this eliminates the narrow sections between the street and sidewalk-but if you have 5' on the side of the house and your neighbor has 5' this becomes 10' and is OK
    Rotors/sprays/drip all seperate zones
    Water budget feature on all timers
    5000 sq ft of sod or 60% of landscape area-whichever is LESS-landscape area is the lot minus the footprint of the home. Footprint does not include driveway and sidewalk.
    No more than 30% of landscaped area(lot minus home footprint) can be rock/concrete-this includes driveway
    Permits need to be obtained for ALL new landscaping from utility department - if not or if not in compliance then there will be a fine with a max up to $1000. After that, city utilities will install a flow restictor at your water meter
    More ordinaces for the landscaping but I'm not sure what they are

    This info has been passed to me, and has not been put fully into action yet.

    Groundmaster - makes it difficult now doesn't it :(

    They are also coming up with plans for rebates on revamping systems to become more efficient. No details yet.
  6. Ground Master

    Ground Master LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    I see that there is gonna be a landscape symposium feb. 21 and 22 at the fine arts center. Guess I'll have to drop the $60 fee to see whats going on. It looks like the new landscape ordinance will be discussed on that friday.

    We need to come up with some better ideas....
  7. devildog

    devildog LawnSite Senior Member
    from sc
    Messages: 270

    Hey guys .....take a moment to think about the silver-lining in this cloud. Have you taken time to think about all the rehab work this will create and low-ballers that this ordinance drive away, etc. etc. etc. Take a proactive approach, you ought to be writing letters to the newpaper, acknowledging the efforts of the gov, get on the radio, do interviews on camera with TV station !!!
    .....HELLO !!! How much more encouragement do you need to take advantage of this !!! with regards... devildog
  8. Ground Master

    Ground Master LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    I'm just anti-government. I don't want them in every little aspect of out lives. In my opinion, the water restriction that were put in place last year is as far as I believe they should go.

    Furthermore the ordinance points that were brought up by danamac seem trival. I don't believe they will result in significant water savings. I feel that Colorado Springs utilities did a poor job of enforcing the water restrictions we had last year. If they would just diligently enforce the restrictions in place, we would be better off. Now our council wants more regulations.........It will be interesting to see what happens.
  9. turfman59

    turfman59 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 801

    I am not familiar with your area. or how big your community is but my main question is who is going to police these ordinances?

    The sprinkler police or what, After being a Mayor for 3 terms I look at this as nothing more than the council burying there heads in the sand. The crap that there mandating( proposed) is not the real meat of water conservation. Like was past posted the problem is in industry. How much recirculation is being done in industry and how much treated water is being sold back to them?

    I just talked to our Water Dept Manager about Reclaimed treated water and he said " Why would I want to cut our throat and sell them cheaper water when I can get the full dollar from fresh water " I just shook my head. After all I am just a novice. Please keep this site posted for further developments. Regards
  10. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,209

    I think the way they will police it is by adding more inspectors to the payroll. I'm thinking inspectors such as the plumbing, electrical, framing ones that check on construction permits. I'm not positive though. And I don't know how it will be funded. Permits alone won't pay for the salaries.

    I like some of the ideas but not all. Hate the master valve idea. I can see it on a commercial property but not a resi. If the MV is inside the home I can't work on it or winterize it without them being home. Most homes here don't have outdoor timers.

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