Water for the Future
South Salt Lake is committed to making sure clean drinking water flows to every home within our water district. Several new water projects currently in process will help improve our water system for residents of today and the future. As the city grows, the demand on our water sources and systems creates additional pressure that must be addressed.
Water Supply and Quality
To ensure safe and clean drinking water for you and your family, we test water quality on a regular basis and publish annual Water Quality Reports to keep residents informed. All of the drinking water in Salt Lake County comes from either groundwater sources or from the Wasatch creeks that flow down into the valley. South Salt Lake water is groundwater and must be pumped from wells. When the City is unable to pump enough water to meet our needs, we purchase water from neighboring cities or water districts. Due to previous annexations, some residents of SSL receive their water from either Salt Lake City or the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District and are subject to their utility service rules and fees.
Many control measures are in place to ensure clean and safe drinking water flows to SSL homes. Federal and state regulations are in place to create health standards that all water providers must meet. One such rule established by the Environmental Protection Agency is the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR), which requires SSL to test resident water service lines and report service line materials to the EPA by October 2024. The goal of the LCR is to make sure residents are aware of what their water service line material is and to provide resources to help homeowners replace lead lines. You can help by identifying what kind of service line you have and then take our Survey to let us know. Visit the SSL Water page for more information.
The SSL Water Division, like other City utilities, charges residents for the service you receive. The fees help cover all costs associated with the utility--in this case, the cost of the water used, annual maintenance and repair expenses on the water system and wells, and construction for new water lines and wells. Ideally, the fees collected should make the utility department solvent so the City does not need to use tax dollars to pay for any utility expenses. This doesn't always happen, but it is the goal. Utility fees are not a tax, they are a fee for service. After several decade of not prioritizing water system upgrades, the past few years have been a growth period as SSL has focused on upgrading our water system for the next 50 years of service.
- Starting in 2021, SSL has been replacing residential water meters with new cellular enabled meters. This allows the Water Department to electronically report real-time water usage from homes and businesses. Previously, water meters were read manually every few months and monthly bills were averaged. Residents may have seen a change in their water bills recently as the City is now able to bill more accurately on monthly usage. In the future, we hope to integrate software residents can use to monitor their usage and increase individual conservation efforts.
- If you have ever noticed a discoloration in your water, the likely cause is from pressure changes in old water lines that stirs up sediment that then flows to your taps. This tends to happen when we have a water main break that needs to be repaired. The quick fix is to flush out the sediment (the City flushes through fire hydrants and residents can flush through running water for 15-20 minutes through a high flow faucet such as a bath tub). The appropriate fix is replacing old water lines with new ones. This is extremely costly and takes time, but the City is working diligently every year on replacing water lines. Sometimes this is accomplished through new development projects that require tapping into the water system, and negotiating with developers to cover some of the costs for a new and improved line.
- In 2022, SSL bonded for a new well to plan for the next 50 years of our City’s water. The $10 million project includes an $8.5 million low-interest loan with the state. Thanks to this low-interest bond, the City raised monthly water bills by just one dollar to cover the cost and was able to avoid any large increase to residents. Land acquisition and well construction will take several years but will help provide well options that keep water flowing to residents in the future should any of the existing wells dry up.
- In 2023, SSL hired a third-party consultant to conduct a Rate Study that will help guide our utility rates into the future. See below for ways to stay involved.
- Over the past year, several projects have been completed to upgrade the City's water system, including 13 new fire hydrants installed, 18 water main breaks repaired, 26 new service lines installed, and 1,600 feet of water main pipe (an upgrade from 4" pipe to 10" pipe) on 200 East
Fresh water is a finite resource. We must all do our part to reduce and conserve our usage, and by doing so saving money on our water bills. Visit the SSL Water page for helpful resources and tips and suggestions to conserve water and save money.
Approximately half of Utah's municipal water is used on grass and landscaping. The single biggest impact we can make on conserving water is to reduce our irrigation use. Federal and state dollars are helping homeowners in this process by providing lucrative rebates to replace grass and other water intensive landscaping. These rebates are being managed through Utah Water Savers. SSL residents are now eligible for the maximum rebates offered through the Landscape Incentive Program. Learn more on the Utah Water Savers website.
Your Voice Matters!
Have any feedback for the SSL Water Division? Contact us at (801) 483-6030.
Utility Rate Study
South Salt Lake is conducting a comprehensive rate study to ensure fair and sustainable rates for essential services that impact our community. Your input and participation are vital to helping shape the rates and ensure they align with the needs and priorities of our residents and businesses.
What is a rate study? A rate study is a thorough evaluation of the fees charged for essential services, such as water, sewer, trash, and other utilities. It helps determine the appropriate rates that cover operational costs, maintenance, and future improvements while considering the impact on the community.
Why should you participate?
- By participating in the rate study, you can:
- Influence decision-making: Your input directly impacts the rates and policies established by the city.
- Ensure fairness: Help create rates that are equitable and reflect the diverse needs of our community.
- Voice concerns: Share your thoughts, concerns, and ideas about the rate structure and potential impacts.
- Shape the future: Contribute to building a sustainable and thriving South Salt Lake.
- Community Outreach: Keep an eye out for community outreach events, workshops, and focus groups where you can engage in discussions with city representatives and fellow community members.
Lead and Copper Survey
Lead in your drinking water can have harmful health effects for you and your family. South Salt Lake is asking residents to help determine if you have lead water lines. First, we need to figure out what kind of water pipes run into your home (your water service line). This is the line that carries water from the City main into your home. Below are resources to help guide you in this process. Once you know the material type, please complete our short survey. Not only will you gain knowledge about your water service line material, but we can provide resources if you decide to replace your water line.
|1. Research and report period.
2. Private consultant conducts comprehensive rate study and submits findings report to City.
|1. Review period.
2. City reviews Rate Study Report. Creates summary and publishes for public view.
|1. Public engagement period.
2. Present Rate Study Report and public engagement feedback to City Council.