Troy officials: Don’t use irrigation systems during daytime hours

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published June 21, 2017

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TROY — Residents can keep their turf green and keep pressure off the city’s water system and rate structure if they use irrigation systems after dark.  

The city secured a lower rate structure for water from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department in 2008 based on restricting underground sprinkler usage during peak times. To support that, the Troy City Council adopted an ordinance that restricts irrigation system usage to between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. — but that only applies to irrigation systems, not hand watering or using a garden hose, explained Paul Trosper, Troy water and sewer operations manager. 

With a recent spike of hot weather, Trosper said, he started to see water usage in peak hours go up “quite drastically.” 

In Troy, the highest water flow rate occurs between 5 and 6 a.m.

The Great Lakes Water Authority board approved a 40-year deal between Detroit and Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties last summer in which county municipal water customers became customers of the GLWA. The Troy City Council voted to become GLWA customers two years ago and turned contracts over to the authority. 

“The GLWA tries to size it to accommodate each community during peak hours,” Trosper said. “We tell them, ‘This is how much water we need from you.’” 

He explained that if all communities exceeded what they projected they would need for peak hours, service could be affected, and the GLWA could assess higher water rates.

Trosper said that last summer, the city came close “a couple times” to shooting over the water flow contract rates. 

Violation of the city ordinance could technically result in a municipal civil infraction. 

Fines for municipal infractions are $65 for the first offense within a three-year period, $250 for a second offense within three years and $500 for a third offense within three years.

Troy City Attorney Lori Grigg-Bluhm said she can’t recall the city issuing any such citations. 

“If we get reports, we follow up,” she said. “We do have to be a watchdog. Our goal is compliance.” 

Trosper said that if someone is in violation of the ordinance, typically they get a letter explaining the ordinance. 

 

“We’re trying to educate everyone,” he said.