Culinary vs. Secondary Water

Asked March 22, 2013, 2:12 PM EDT

I recently moved to Draper, Utah. I found that my sprinkler system is connected to the culinary water system. I pay an annual fee to WaterPro for secondary water although I'm currently not connected. I have a valve at the curb with which I could pay to have my sprinkler system connected and converted. However, I was told by all of my neighbors that they use culinary water as well because the secondary water, "kills the trees and plants". I inquired with a local landscaper and a local nursery and both of them also concurred that the salinity of Draper's secondary water is very hard on ornamental plants and some trees. What is your opinion? I'd like to conserve our precious drinking water but don't want to kill my landscaping.
Todd Brown
Draper, Utah

Salt Lake County Utah

1 Response

I wouldn't be able to say, sorry. I would recommend getting your secondary water tested. The USU Analytical Lab ( could test for the salinity of your water.

Most secondary water comes from snow runoff, rainfall, etc. So it seems like it would be the same no matter where you live in Utah. I live in Cache County and use secondary water for my plants with no problem.

All water in Utah is very alkaline, and for sensitive plants, this results in some nutrient deficiencies like iron. I have to apply chelated iron every year to some plants because of this. So... get your water tested, and then you can go from there. Otherwise, I would think that it would be OK.