We’ve set the clocks back. Now it’s time to set our sprinklers back.
Every November, Alachua County’s irrigation restrictions change to accommodate the winter’s slow plant growth. It’s crucial to ensure that your sprinkler or irrigation system is compliant with these restrictions and is working properly, in order to prevent fines, cut down your water bill and conserve water for our local Florida springs.
Official seasonal irrigation rules for Alachua County:
Alachua County’s irrigation restrictions determine when you can water your plants and lawn according to your address:
These restrictions apply to wells, lakes, creeks, and city water (but not reclaimed water, micro-irrigation, vegetable gardens or new landscapes for the first 60 days). You can find in-depth information about irrigation regulations online here.
Tips for hassle-free irrigation and sprinkler compliance:
- Put your system on an automatic timer, so you don’t have to remember when to turn it on and off.
- Make sure that no sprinkler head spray zones are overlapping or over-watering certain areas on your lawn.
- Make sure you have a rainfall shut off device (a.k.a. a rain sensor) attached to your system, which will interrupt sprinkler cycles when there’s been enough rain. Alachua County requires that all automatic sprinkler systems have a functioning rain sensor.
Why the restrictions?
Most grasses go dormant in the winter, so we don’t need to water them as much. Cutting down on irrigation during this season won’t compromise the health of your lawn, and it will prevent you from wasting water.
Here in Gainesville, FL, most lawns with irrigation systems have St. Augustine grass. If that’s the case for your property, know that this type of grass goes dormant during the winter but still needs to be a bit damp throughout the season. Otherwise, the turf will become stressed, making it hospitable to bugs and potentially killing the grass.
Smart winter irrigation isn’t just about timing.
As Gainesville lawn care and irrigation professionals, we’ve often noticed that even if someone’s irrigation system is compliant with timing restrictions, it still might be wasting water.
Here are some of the most common issues we encounter:
- Too much water spilling out of broken sprinkler heads
- Leaking irrigation pipes
- Sprinkler zones overlapping or over-watering certain areas, as noted above
- Sprinklers sending water to the sidewalk or side of the house
These problems add up. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as much as 50 percent of outdoor water is wasted from inefficient watering methods and systems.
So taking care of sprinkler and irrigation issues isn’t just an easy way to save money on your water bill. It’s also a commitment to building a more sustainable and healthy community, lawn by lawn. Think of it as a holiday present to your neighbors.
Not sure about the state of your irrigation or sprinkler system?
Irrigation checks are an easy way to confirm that you’re compliant with Alachua County’s rules and not wasting any water. Sustainable Gainesville lawn care professionals can provide a comprehensive, personalized irrigation check for your yard.
Sun Power Lawn Care is currently offering a $20 discount on our professional irrigation check services for subscribers to our free monthly newsletter. Enter your email below and we’ll be in touch to set up your discounted appointment shortly.