donala logo
Donala Water & Sanitation District


(719) 488-3603   FEBRUARY 2012






32-1-804.1: 32-1-04.3, 1-1-104(34), 32-1-905(2), C.R.S.


TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN, and, particularly, to the electors of the Donala Water & Sanitation District of El Paso county, Colorado.


            NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that an election will be held on the 8th day of May, 2012, between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.   At that time, 2 directors will be elected to serve 4-year terms and 1 director to a 2-year term.  Eligible electors of the DONALA WATER & SANITATION DISTRICT interested in serving on the board of directors may obtain a Self-Nomination and Acceptance form from the District Designated Election Official (DEO):

                                                Jackie Sipes (Designated Election Official)

                                                15850 Holbein Drive

                                                Colorado Springs, CO 80921

                                                (719) 488-3603


The Office of the DEO is open on the following days. Monday - Friday 9a.m. to 3 p.m.

If the DEO determines that a Self-Nomination and Acceptance form is not sufficient, the eligible elector who submitted the form may amend the form once, at any time, prior to 3:00 p.m. on Friday, March 2, 2012.  The deadline to submit a Self-Nomination and Acceptance is close of business on Friday, March 2, 2012 (not less than 67 days before the election).  Earlier submittal is encouraged as the deadline will not permit curing an insufficient form.  Affidavit of Intent to be a Write-In-Candidate, forms must be submitted to the office of the Designated Election Official by the close of business on Monday, March 5, 2012 (the sixty-fourth day before the election). 


            NOTICE IS FURTHER GIVEN, an application for a mail-in (absentee) ballot shall be filed with the DEO no later than the close of business on Friday, May 4, 2012, except that, if the applicant wishes to receive the mail-in (absentee) ballot by mail, the application shall be filed no later than the close of business on Tuesday, May 1, 2012. 




The annual “Taxpayers’ Report”, nicknamed the “Good Shepherd Report” is available on the website at  It shows the amount we collected last year, the debt that is serviced and our best estimate at the plans and costs of future capital projects as explained in the Town Meetings and previous newsletters.


THE LAWN DILEMMA: How to Have a Lawn and Conserve Water

Over 50% of the water used during the growing season is applied to bluegrass lawns, placing a high demand on a dwindling resource. The need to balance lawns and their associated water consumption with conditions imposed by our high desert climate grows ever stronger as population along the Front Range increases. Fortunately, the amount of water we use can be dramatically reduced by limiting lawns to appropriate places and sizes, and, most importantly, by caring for them properly.



Right-sizing Your Lawn for Reduced Water Use

Many Donala lawns, established 20-30 years before water conservation was a concern in our community, are wall-to-wall carpets of thirsty bluegrass. Consider reducing the size of your lawn to areas that are actually used.  If you only walk on it when you mow it, do you really need it? Some places, such as steep slopes, irregularly shaped areas or narrow strips of sod are difficult to water efficiently and should not be part of a lawn. Instead, plant them with water efficient shrubs, perennials or ground covers to prevent erosion, or mulch them with gravel. Areas of heavy shade under trees that compete for water with lawns may also be better off with a mulched surface. Some heavily travelled areas will not grow grass well no matter how much fertilizer and water are applied to them. Those areas should be part of a path or walkway. Practical turf areas, aesthetically shaped to encompass a practical area, can be a water-saving enhancement to any yard.


Proper Culural Practices Reduce Turf Water Consumption

Many of the once-lush bluegrass lawns in our community died during the extremely dry fall/winter of 2010/2011, while others survived. What made the difference? Studies have shown that when turf grass is planted in soil that has been tilled and amended with organic material such as compost, it develops an extensive drought resistant root system that supports survival during tough times. This effect cannot be reproduced by top dressing or fertilizing.  Soil amendment is so important in Colorado that Denver Water now requires property owners to amend their soil with compost before they will set a new water meter! If your lawn has never recovered from the drought, it may be worthwhile to amend the soil and start fresh.  (Call Susan at Donala Water for a free visit to analyze your situation.)

Established lawns also need to be core aerated regularly to reduce compaction and allow air and water to reach the grass roots. Aerating in both spring and fall can be beneficial if soil is compacted, but once a year is ok as long as the cores are extracted from the soil about 2-4 inches apart. Most of the companies who aerate in Donala need to make multiple passes over the lawn with their core aeration machine instead of just one to achieve this result.

Mowing often enough so that no more than 1/3 of the grass blade is removed at a time is ideal. Mowing height should be about 2.5 – 3 inches for maximum drought and heat tolerance. Clippings may be left on the lawn to provide a source of nutrients. They decompose quickly and do not contribute to thatch accumulation. Most lawns are over-fertilized, only needing ½ - 1 lb. of nitrogen per 1000 sq. feet (about half that if you leave clippings on the lawn).  For more information see “Lawn Care, fact sheet 7.202 at .


Watering more deeply and less frequently produces a healthier lawn. Bluegrass can do well on as little as two waterings a week. Three waterings a week is what is allowed under Donala’s summer rationing program. And of course, the greatest water saver of all is to irrigate bluegrass separately from trees and shrubs, which do not need nearly as much moisture. For more specific information on proper irrigation practices, see “How Much Water Does Your Bluegrass Need” in the xeriscape section of Donala’s web site ( or CSU’s publication no 7.199 “Watering Established Lawns” at .

Lawns have many benefits, including a friendly, self-renewing surface for children, pets and sports, a deterrent to runoff and soil erosion, and a cooling area in summer where carbon dioxide is converted to oxygen, and organic pollutants are broken down by soil microbes. It may not be practical or popular to eliminate lawns, so let’s improve our cultural practices to create more water-wise expanses of turf grass.