More FAQ's are on the horizon.
1. Do I need Fire Suppression in my cabin?
Answer: The Code is Summit County and whoever is the Fire Chief is at the time. Yes, it can be tied to the water system, but it will require a RPZ (reduced pressure zone) on the main line going to the house. This will have to be inspected yearly and will need to be in place year-round. You can use potable water, but are only allowed to fill the cistern for fire suppression only. Once it is filled, you should not need to fill it again for any other purpose. There are some of these on the ranch and they do not have to be buried. They can be installed in the garage, utility room etc. and would require an air gap for the filling point at the top of the tank so water cannot be pulled back into our system from theirs. Any certified plumber will know the code and should be able to walk the owner through it. What is required has nothing to do with water company and the owner will have to do what is required per Summit County building code.
2. How do I winterize my meter and keep it from freezing?
Here are some basic winter tips that could save both money and time when dealing with an emergency.
1. Place a garbage bag of insulation or an old blanket in your meter can on top of the meter. This will help trap in the warm ground temperature that is in the meter can and keep the cold air out of the empty space. There is a lot of metal inside that meter can that conducts the cold and will freeze the meter setter and meter.
2. If you are not going to be at your cabin for long periods of time, shut off the water at the meter. We have seen a lot of times people shut it off in the cabin, but then have a break from the meter to the cabin.
3. Place lots of snow on the meter can. If you dig your meter up for any reason, please make sure to pile snow back on top. Snow is great insulation and will prevent any freezing in or around the meter can. We have seen in the months of January-March the meter lids melt off and then cold temps at night freeze the meter. If you notice your meter lid showing just make sure to try and pile snow on it.
4. Mark Your Meter. If for any reason PMMWC or the lot owner needs to access the meter in the winter months, finding them is very difficult. Please mark your meter with something rigid that is at least 6′-8′ tall. Place the marker within 1′-2′ of the meter lid so that the meter can be found in an emergency situation.
3. Do you test fire hydrants?
Answer: Hydrants we’re tested during the project. We do not have the water to waste in testing them. They are dry hydrants, meaning there are no operating parts until it is opened.
Please be aware that the HOA is not the expert on all of these issues, the Water Company is the trusted source.
First, there is a misconception that the our water system is a “public water system”, which it is not. It is a private water system and as such the criteria that it is measured under can be different than a public water system. The history of the system is that it was originally designed as a recreational system to be used during the summer months. It wasn’t until the water company was formed in 1999 that it was mandated that within a twenty year period it would need to become a year round system. Through a lot of work and planning it is now a year round system, but it also has some exceptions to general requirements as to availability during the winter months. As to the fire hydrants, the Forest Meadow area met the state requirements when it was first developed for number of fire hydrants, the Pine Meadow area has met state requirements when they reworked the system a decade ago and achieved the year round capability. As build out continues there may be the need for adjustments to the number of fire hydrants, but that is under the auspice of the Water Company, not the HOA.
As to the testing requirement for our system is that if there is a dead end point on any of the roads where there are hydrants they need to test the dead end line to make sure that the water flows at specified rates regardless of how many hydrants may be on that line. They do check individual hydrants as needed.
The new requirement for fire hydrant placement is within 600 linear feet to your structure. If the fire hydrant does not meet the 600 feet you can install a 5,000 gallon water tank and install fire suppression in your home.
4. When were Pine Meadow Water fire hydrants last checked for “operability”? Last time fire hydrants were flushed?
Answer: This is our basic checklist annually. We do a drive in the spring and fall to every hydrant. We also have an independent engineering evaluation (2023) for fire flow to verify we comply with State of Utah Engineer specs.
Annual Hydrant Inspections Check List
Make sure that hydrants are in proper condition. Some things that are checked during an annual inspection include:
- Look for obstructions that could interfere with hydrant operation
- Check for cracked or missing caps
- Look for leaky or broken nozzles, gaskets, and valves
- Check for the correct above ground hydrant height
- Determine if the hydrant needs to be painted
- Check for main valve leaks
- Check water flow using a pressure gauge
5. How can I find where my water line is placed?
Answer: The PMMWC issues a water service letter based on the company's water hydraulic model that can prove to provide your lot with water. Due to Homeland Security and being a community utility water system, the exact location of our lines or any other infrastructure of the water system is not disclosed.
6. Is outside watering allowed for lawns or animals?
Answer: NO. Outside Watering is prohibited by the PMW Rules and Regulations.
3.1.3. Express Conditions. Each Shareholder agrees to comply with the rules and regulations
of the Company as they now exist or as they may be amended in the future. Water service is
currently provided for indoor use only. (Indoor use includes use for camping, use in trailers,
and other transient domestic use.) In order to remain in compliance with the current
conditions of approval imposed on the Company’s rights by the Utah State Engineer, water
may not be used for outside irrigation, plants, lawns, gardens, or other vegetation, or livestock
or other stock watering, or use other than indoor use.
We do not have the water supply for outside watering, indoor use only.
7. Do you test for PFAS?
Answer: No. There is not enough manufactured chemicals in Utah to test.
From the DEQ Website of UTAH:
...the results fell well below all advisory limits for the PFAS measured. This indicates low risk for human exposure to PFAS through drinking water in Utah...
For the entire article from DEQ of UTAH click HERE
8. Is there a way to water my plants outdoors if there is no outside watering with potable drinking water allowed?
Excerpt 3.1.3 referenced below and the Pine Meadow Mutual Water Co Rules and Regulations are found HERE for the private water system if you want to read the full document. Also, the Bylaws are found HERE.
The PMMWC is on reduced capacity to better serve the community and is not allowed by the state for outdoor use. Their potable drinking water source is only for indoor use. You can water a plant on the deck, but putting potable water in the backyard garden would be like watering with Evian. And a 24/7 alarm sends a message that there may be a continuous flow leak.
Please review these few added resources:
Rain Barrel Drip Irrigation System: The best way to water the outdoors is to use a rain barrel with gravity or a transfer pump for a DIY drip system. Search for guides and tutorials on setting up a drip irrigation system using free water in rain barrels as a water source.
DIY Rain Barrel Drip System: Look for do-it-yourself (DIY) instructions and videos on creating your own rain barrel drip irrigation system.
Rain Barrel Watering for Gardens: Find information on how to use rain barrels to efficiently water your garden using a drip system.
Water Conservation: Explore the principles of water conservation and how rain barrel drip irrigation systems with a transfer pump contribute to sustainable gardening practices.
Reminder: No Outside Watering Rule
3.1.3. Express Conditions. Each Shareholder agrees to comply with the rules and regulations of the Company as they now exist or as they may be amended in the future. Water service is currently provided for indoor use only. (Indoor use includes use for camping, use in trailers, and other transient domestic use.) In order to remain in compliance with the current conditions of approval imposed on the Company’s rights by the Utah State Engineer, water Pine Meadow Mutual Water Company Rules and Regulations April 2002 10 may not be used for outside irrigation, plants, lawns, gardens, or other vegetation, or livestock or other stock watering, or use other than indoor use.
Thank you for your conscientious preservation of our precious water resource.
9. What is the best way to mark my meter for winter?
Answer: Winter Tips to Keep pipes from Freezing
Winter is approaching on the ranch. We would like to offer some tips to prevent frozen pipes or other problems that may occur with the cold temperatures and snow. With over 20 years of experience on the ranch we have seen just about everything that could go wrong. With a little preparation and some simple tips, you could save yourself a lot of problems later on.
- Marking your meter location now during good weather. This can be done with a PVC pole attached to a steel fence post or something rigid that will not be knocked over by the snowplows or piling snow. If the meter needs to be shut off in an emergency this can save hours of time trying to locate the meter.
- Pile snow on the meter lid. Please make sure if you dig up your meter in the winter months, pile snow back on top of the meter. Snow is a great insulation for the meter cans and helps them from freezing. Some properties have South facing meters and the snow melts off of them if we get a January thaw. Keep an eye on your meter for snow melting off of it and try to put more snow on it.
- If you are not going to be at your property for a long period of time shut the valve off on the meter setter. Shutting the valve off in the cabin protects the cabin, but you can still get a leak in the service line going to your home.
- Place insulation or a blanket in your meter can. You can use any type of insulation for your meter can. Place it in a garbage bag and set it loosely down in the meter can on top of the meter. Please be careful with the cable that runs down to the meter.
- Any pipes that are exposed to the cold air should be wrapped in insulation wrap and heat tape added. Crawl spaces do not get warm air from the home and exposed pipes will freeze. Some utility rooms do not have heat and might need the door left open so warmer air can circulate in these rooms.
We hope these tips will help you throughout the winter months.