Parker water district counts on voluntary limits

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The Parker Water and Sanitation District is asking customers to keep their outdoor water usage to a minimum.

The release of a voluntary watering schedule is a departure from some communities, which have implemented mandatory restrictions on irrigation, but Parker Water’s district manager, Ron Redd, is hoping that widespread cooperation will avoid the need for such drastic measures.

Recent snowfall has made for near-normal snowpacks and happy plants across Colorado, tempering drought conditions for now. But Parker Water is not affected by snowmelt like other communities because it relies on groundwater, and the inevitable Colorado dry spell could turn the tables on local vegetation.

First and foremost, customers are being asked to avoid watering their lawns until May, as the ground retains much of its moisture in the early spring months. Those with an address ending in an even number are instructed to water on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Property owners with addresses ending in odd numbers, as well as commercial properties, homeowners associations and multi-family residences, are being asked to water on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. There should be no watering on Fridays so the wells can recharge.

Redd says voluntary schedules can be quite effective.

“What we find is we get 75 percent compliance with that, so that’s pretty good," he said.

As always, homeowners and businesses should not allow their sprinklers to run between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m., since the water evaporates and can leave grass drier because the droplets reflect the sunlight.

Redd says he has heard from customers in the past who get upset over the lack of mandatory restrictions, and thought he might get that reaction only when strict rules are put in place.

Denver and Aurora have already approved mandatory measures to curb water usage. However, the Centennial Water and Sanitation District, which serves Highlands Ranch, is among the districts that have asked customers to follow a voluntary schedule.

For more information, visit www.pwsd.org.