Landscape and Soil Amendment

South Adams County Water and Sanitation District will not review or approve landscaping applications. But District customers shall comply with the City ordinance and our rules and regulations by applying the proper amount of soil amendment.

Soil Amendment

Proper soil and ground preparation is critical to the success of a lawn or garden. Commerce City Ordinance No. 1489 § 3, 6-2-03 and District Rules & Regulations require installation of 5 yards of organic matter into the soil to a depth of at least 4 to 6 inches for every 1,000 square feet of area to be seeded, planted or sodded. The ideal solution for the sandy and clayey soils throughout the District is to add more organic matter. Look for soil amendment compost materials with Class I or Class II standards (Refer to Table below):

Recommended Compost Classifications:

Class I
Class II
Minimum Stability Indicator
Stable-Very Stable
Ag Index (nutrients/NaCL)
Soluble Salts
Maximum 5 mmhos/cm
Maximum 5 mmhos/cm
Carbon/Nitrogen Ratio
Ammonia-N/Nitrate-N Ratio

Automatic Irrigation System

Proper design, installation and maintenance of irrigation systems to ensure uniform and efficient distribution of water will assist in conserving water and protecting water resources. The Resolution of the Board of Directors in 2003 states that new sod and seed installations require adequate soil preparation, and the installation of automatic irrigation controls and rain sensors on new underground sprinkler systems.   

Efficient Irrigation Practices

Carefully consider the most appropriate irrigating technique for each irrigated plant area, e.g. trees and shrubs may be better served by drip systems. Eliminate overspray on hardscapes (sidewalks, streets, etc.) and impervious areas by adjusting sprinkler heads. Overwatering lawns can cause root rot from waterlogged soils. Plants and grass with roots growing in waterlogged soil may die because they are not receiving adequate oxygen. Over-watered lawns and plants are more susceptible to diseases, fungus, weeds and insect damage. A healthy lawn should be a little on the thirsty side, always sending roots deeper into the soil. The deeper the root system, the healthier and more resilient the turf. This is why an ideal watering is deep and infrequent (mimicking natural rainfall) rather than shallow and often. An overwatered lawn will likely have a shallow root system since there is no need for the roots to travel for water - it is always there, close to the surface. A shallow root system is more susceptible to insect damage and even heat stress since there is less water holding capacity within the root system.


When deciding on a landscape design it’s important to plant with the long-term in mind. To create an everlasting landscape it is recommended to plant vegetation that is native to Colorado. If you take the time to choose the proper plants for your garden you can lower cost, maintenance and conserve water. Colorado has a unique climate with heat, cold, high winds, and dry conditions that can be very challenging for traditional garden plants. The following are resources to learn about landscape in Colorado:

Plant Select                                                                           Garden Centers of Colorado

Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado                   Resource Central

Colorado Nursery & Greenhouse Association                      H2OUSE

CSU Agriculture Extension

For a PDF copy of these guidelines and recommendations click here.