Wanting to learn more about Beat the Peak? Check it out!
Instead of constructing a larger distribution system, First Utility District has developed a plan to reduce peak flows and spread demand out more evenly over the course of a summer week. Even addresses will irrigate on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday and Odd addresses will irrigate on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Monday is reserved for tank recovery, and plant and pump maintenance with no irrigation. All irrigation will take place prior to 5:00 am or after 7:30 am to avoid overlapping the domestic use peak.
If successful, this program will result in nearly all existing water lines having sufficient capacity for years to come. Some water pipes will still need to be replaced due to age, material and condition and First Utility District will be able to focus construction efforts on these pipes. The cost savings will mean continued low water rates for customers (for a rate comparison on utilities in East Tennessee, email firstname.lastname@example.org).
Watering on alternate days is consistent with recommendations for healthy yards. Likewise, watering in the hours just before 5 am or between 7:30am and 10:00 am, before the heat of the day, are within guidelines for optimal watering times. We are not asking customers to reduce water use for irrigation, just to change the days and times it is applied. There is no shortage of water supply, only challenges in moving it through the system during peak times. First Utility District’s policy includes exceptions for:
- new seed or sod (water every day if needed for up to 45 days)
- recreational fields with scheduled events
- The policy does not apply to hand watering with a hose or watering can
- Irrigation systems can run in the evening any day if additional watering is needed during unusually dry periods.
We believe this program can be a win-win that results in healthy lawns and landscapes, a healthy distribution system, and healthy budget and water rates.
Links to lawn irrigation recommendations:
Clemson Cooperative Extension Home & Garden Information Center: https://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheet/landscape-irrigation-management-part-5-irrigation-time-of-day/
University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture Extension:
The Tree and Landscape Company:
Green Grass Lawn Care: