By: Matt Jorgensen On: April 05, 2021 In: Latest News Comments: 0

Have you wondered about how secondary water works? Here are the most frequently asked questions. Feel free to contact the South Jordan Water Division at 801-254-3742 with additional questions.

Q. Where does the canal irrigation water come from?
A. Water is sourced from Utah Lake through the Jordan River, with four canals diverting from the Jordan River at the south end of Salt Lake County.

Q. Who controls and determines when the water flows?
A. Each canal company, which is a separate entity from the City, determines when water service will begin and end in each individual canal. South Jordan is served by four canals (Welby-Jacob Canal, Utah Lake Distributing Canal, Utah & Salt Lake Canal, and the South Jordan Canal).

Q. What is South Jordan City’s role in delivering secondary water?
A. The City has 26 weirs within South Jordan that divert water from the four canals. The weirs send water into the City’s secondary water distribution system, consisting of 178 miles of pipe with 3,734 residential connections. Once water is diverted into the City’s system, it is the City’s responsibility.

Q. Why are there interruptions to canal water delivery?
A. Interruptions in water delivery have many causes. Most are related to water loss from the canal that requires an immediate repair. Other causes include pump system failures, 3rd party construction projects and activities, and emergency shutdowns for other reasons.
Water supply from Utah Lake was a major issue a few years ago. The lake dropped to an elevation that required an early shutdown of the pump house located on the north shore of the lake. This was preceded by a below average snowpack the winter before and consequently inadequate runoff to fill the lake. The pumps were shutdown on Oct. 1st versus the normal date of Oct. 15th.

Q. Why do I get billed monthly for secondary water when it is only delivered for 7 months out of the year?
A. A set annual amount for each resident water connection is billed, which means it is not billed at a per gallon rate. The amount covers the cost of share assessments from the canal company, operations and maintenance of the City’s secondary water distribution system, and improvement projects to the distribution system. The annual amount is divided into 12 payments and billed with the monthly City utility bill.

Q. Why do I get billed when there is an interruption to water delivery?
A. There is no reduction in costs from the canal companies when water is not delivered because all costs associated with secondary water delivery are fixed.

Typically, interruptions last a few hours to a few days. In some extreme cases, water delivery has been interrupted for 3-4 weeks. The City works with the canal companies to minimize both the frequency and duration of water service interruptions as best as possible. This includes providing City resources in the form of staff assistance and equipment when needed.