DONALA WATER & SANITATION DISTRICT

 (719)488-3603                     MAY 2013

 

COMMUNITY MEETING

As a means to reach out to our customers, the Board of Directors will host a community meeting on May 15, 2013, to provide information on the issues facing the District, both short and long term.  We want to hear your concerns and ideas as we move forward this year.  The community meeting will be held at the Antelope Trails Elementary School, beginning at 7:00 pm.  Topics will include this summer’s irrigation standards, what the District is doing to address the need for additional water, as well as providing some basic education on the District’s operations.  There will be an opportunity for you to ask questions, and provide input to the Board of Directors.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices.  Light refreshments will be available.

 

 

PHASE 3 IRRIGATION STANDARDS ARE IN EFFECT

Don’t be fooled by the recent snow fall that the District has experienced these last few weeks.  Almost the entire State of Colorado is still classified in severe drought conditions, with El Paso County being classified as extreme.  As the District is contractually obligated with Colorado Springs Utilities to follow the City’s irrigation standards, we are now under Phase 3 water standards.  This means that you are limited to watering your lawn, twice weekly, with the following schedule.  

          -Odd numbered addresses will water on Monday and Friday only.

          -Even numbered addresses will water Tuesday and Saturday only.

In order to most effectively irrigate your lawn, irrigation times are from midnight to 9 am and 6 pm to midnight on assigned days.   Please do not water your lawn between the hours of 9 am to 6 pm.

 

Outdoor landscape watering shall not exceed: a) For residential users, three (3) hours each designated watering day; and b) for commercial users, twenty (20) minutes per zone or area for pop up fixed spray sprinklers and forty five (45) minutes per zone or area for pop up rotary type sprinklers (including, but not limited to, impact or gear drive).  Please no watering on Sunday.  We have had numerous calls about watering trees, shrubs, flowers and gardens.  Our standards allow for “hand watering” of these, at any time, with a few conditions.  You must be physically present and if you are using a hose, it needs to have a “positive shutoff”.  This means the nozzle must “shutoff” when you release the handle.  Drip irrigation systems are not subject to the twice weekly limits.  We do suggest that they be used early in the morning, or after sunset to avoid excessive evaporation.

 

The schedule for townhome and commercial accounts can be found on the Donala website.  Simply go to www.donalawater.org, and at the top of the home page, click on the blue water drop.  This will take you the District’s Irrigation Standards page.  You can also find helpful tips on water conservation and additional resources on the left side of the webpage.  Simply click “Water” and then “Conservation and Xeriscaping”.

 

NOAA (the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration) is showing long term forecasts with little relief in sight.   As the City obtains a significant amount of their water from mountain snow fall, until the City’s reservoirs begin to seriously fill up from the annual snowmelt, relief from their standards is not expected anytime soon. 

 

Communities up and down the front- range have implemented their own irrigation standards in response to the drought, including the City of Denver which is also limiting their residents to twice a week lawn irrigation. 

 

SPRING TIME YARD TUNE UP

 

Even though we have implemented lawn irrigation limits, all is not lost in your quest for a healthy and drought tolerant lawn.  The following are some tips which will assist you in maintaining your lawn, in spite of less water than it has been used to:

 

            -Core Cultivation, or Aeration:  this relieves soil compaction and allows air and water to penetrate sod, and soil, better for enhanced root growth in the spring.

            -Remove plugs 2-3 inches long, with holes 2-3 inches apart.  You should leave the plugs on the lawn as they will decompose in about 2-3 weeks and replace nutrients back into the soil.  It may look like geese have taken up residence on your lawn, but on the positive side, it may keep your neighbors from walking their dog on your front lawn.

            -Don’t power rake your lawn.  In the District, there is not much thatch buildup from year to year and power raking may actually damage the existing, living grass.  Hand-rake your yard to avoid this damage.

Mowing preserves the beauty of your lawn:                                                     

•Minimum height for any bluegrass lawn is 3 inches.  Preferred mowing height for bluegrass is 3 to 3.5 inches.

•Mow often enough so that no more than 1/3 of the grass height is removed at any single mowing.  If weather or another factor prevents mowing at the proper time, raise the height of the mower temporarily to avoid cutting too much at one time.  Cut the grass again a few days later at the raised mowing height.

•Let grass clippings fall back onto the lawn.  Grass clippings provide a source of recycled nutrients and organic matter for the lawn.  They do not contribute to thatch accumulation. 

•Check mowing equipment for sharpness.  Dull mower blades shred leaf blades instead of cutting them cleanly, resulting in a brown unattractive lawn.  If you water adequately and your lawn is still brown, check the sharpness of your mower blade!

 

WE’RE HERE TO HELP!

While the Donala Water and Sanitation District is a utility provider, we understand the importance of the value of your home to you and how the appearance of your landscape impacts this. The staff of the Donala Water and Sanitation District is here to provide you with the knowledge and resources that we have gathered over the years.  Please visit our webpage, at www.donalawater.org, or give us a call at 719-488-3603.  If we don’t have the answer immediately available, we’ll find out the answer and give you a call back.