Salt Lake City sells out of grass blend that uses 30% less water
SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City has innovated a way for its water users to enjoy a green lawn and save water this summer. It’s a blend of grass seeds that uses 30% less water than bluegrass. Based on its immediate popularity, this conservation concept could catch on across Utah.
The city worked with Utah State University and the Turfgrass Water Conservation Alliance to come up with a grass blend that is just right for the Wasatch Front.
“This particular seed was created for our region and for us. It includes two different kinds of fescue and then a low-water need bluegrass,” said Laura Briefer, director of Salt Lake City Public Utilities.
It’s a cool-season blend that needs 30% less water than traditional bluegrass. It’s not a brand new seed, but a new blend of seeds.
“That’s what makes it such an elegant solution, because we’re taking what we already have and already know and we’re applying it in an innovative fashion so that we have more options for conservation for our community,” Briefer said.
Without restrictions, Salt Lake City water customers have voluntarily saved 2.5 billion gallons of water this summer.
We all need to find ways to use less water. This solution leads to green grass without having to rip out the turf or spend a lot of money. The idea grew from brainstorming.
“How can we offer our residents more ways to conserve water? And this new hybrid grass seed, which clearly was very popular and sold out quickly, was one of those opportunities for our residents,” said Erin Mendenhall, mayor of Salt Lake City.
The seed mix — which comes in a five-pound bag that covers 1,000 square feet for $8.50 — has already sold out. The city is ordering more.
If your water bill is from Salt Lake City Public Utilities, you are eligible.
“We are in the process of ordering more seed, hopefully to be here in time for an early fall planting,” Briefer said.
Based on the popularity of this seed blend, other water districts may do something similar.
“We hope so, and we want to make it that available,” the mayor said. “It’s not just about how much is on your utility bill. This is about the great Salt Lake. This is about conservation.”
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