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BYU redesigns area south of Carillon Tower

Includes a series of ponds connected by a stream

Brigham Young University is in the process of redesigning the area directly below the Carillon Tower where a canal recently ran parallel to West and North Campus Drive.

The canal, part of the original irrigation system that crisscrosses much of Utah Valley, was covered in January as a result of a statewide effort to use Utah's water sources more efficiently.

"Even with the need to conserve water, many people have been concerned about the loss of the canal through campus," said Roy Peterman, grounds director at BYU.

The new design includes a series of ponds connected by a stream. A waterfall will also be part of the redesigned area, as well as walking paths and plants. Peterman pointed out that the ducks that frequented the canal area will now have continued access to water.

"The new amenities planned for this area will be every bit as delightful as the previous landscaping, creating an atmosphere of peace, learning and inspiration, appropriately interacting with nature," Peterman said. "The interaction will be friendlier than the old canal."

No additional water will be used at the redesigned site. Outgoing cooling water from Heritage Halls will be recycled in the ponds and stream.

Barring delays, the project will be finished May 21.

After many years of drought conditions in Utah, Peterman said, covering the canal was a good decision.

The Upper East Union Irrigation Company, which owns the easement that runs the canal from 900 East through Heritage Halls and along Campus Drive, contracted with the Central Utah Project to route the canal through pipes to conserve water.

The canal was losing 42 percent of its water to transportation losses, such as seepage and evaporation. Also, many shares of the water were not being used.

Peterman said piping the canal water has allowed for a more efficient use of water around the valley.

The Riverside Country Club, the Utah State Hospital and some city parks are now able to more effectively use water from the canal. Over a five-year period, BYU also will be able to switch from culinary water to untreated water for grounds' use on campus.

"This represents only one of the water conservation measures that BYU uses," Peterman said. "For instance, we have one of the most sophisticated computerized water control systems in the United States."

Writer: Thomas Grover

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