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Denver Water gets tougher

DENVER – The Denver Water Board enacted Wednesday stiffer water restrictions for its million-plus customers.

“The previous water restrictions weren’t quite meeting the 30-percent reduction goal we had hoped for, we so needed to do something more stringent,” said Dave Bennett, Denver Water’s system operator. “These are pretty severe.”

Denver Water first enacted water restrictions on July 1. Then, they ordered customers to water for three hours on specific days determined by street address, and only between the hours of 6 p.m. and 9 a.m. Those earlier restrictions only reduced water use by about 20 percent, Bennett said.



Effective Sept. 1, water users will go from three hours of watering on their assigned day to two hours. No watering will be allowed on Sundays.

On Oct. 1, all outside watering will come to a halt.



“Your lawn will go to bed for the winter early,” said Denver Water Manager Chips Barry. “It will go to bed without supper.”

The no-outside watering rules even apply to vehicles.

“You can’t wash you car after Oct. 1,” Bennett said. “You can take it to a car wash, but you can’t wash you car at your house.”

About 50 percent of all Denver Water’s summer water consumption is spent on outdoor uses, Bennett said.

“That’s where you can really save water, by limiting lawn watering,” Bennett said.

Denver Water’s phones have stayed busy this summer, Bennett said, and many of those calls have come from consumers unhappy with neighbors who haven’t complied with the restrictions.

“We had quite a bit of that,” Bennett said. “Overall, people are really concerned about it, but some people just don’t like to let their lawns dry out. If you drive around the city, you’ll have several lawns in a row that look pretty stressed and another that looks pretty green. If you’re the one with the lawn that’s stressed and drying up, you probably get a little resentful.”

Denver Water gets its water from several reservoirs statewide, among them Dillon Reservoir. The reservoir now stands at about 65 percent of normal capacity, impacting business at both the county’s marinas.


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