An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: Orange County, USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

Reset your sprinkler system to fall back to once-a-week

PALATKA — Starting Nov. 1, homeowners and businesses across the 18 counties of the St. Johns River Water Management District should reset their automatic sprinkler systems to water no more than once a week. When “falling back” — turning your clocks back an hour — it’s also time to change your irrigation system timer to water your lawn only on your designated watering day.

“Research shows that, in Florida’s cooler months, grass and plants don’t need as much water to be healthy — you can save water and money and still have a beautiful lawn,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “When you turn back your clocks Saturday night, be sure to also reset your sprinkler timers to water only on the designated day for your address. Keep in mind that you may not need supplemental irrigation at all if it has rained.”

Public water supply is the largest category of water use in the District’s 18-county region — about 565.5 million gallons of water a day. Most of this water is for residential water use, and many people don’t realize that more than half of total residential water use is used outdoors if the home has an automatic irrigation system. Efficient irrigation systems that are scheduled correctly can save up to half of that outdoor water use.

Because lawns need significantly less water in Florida’s winter months, watering restrictions are in place to ensure that water used for irrigation is used efficiently. During Eastern Standard Time (early November through mid-March), landscape irrigation is limited to no more than one day a week on the following schedule:

  • Saturday at addresses that end in an odd number or have no address
  • Sunday at addresses that end in an even number
  • Tuesday at non-residential addresses
  • No irrigation is allowed between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The District’s 2020-2021 Water Less campaign aims to raise awareness about water conservation and to communicate easy ways to integrate outdoor water conservation into Floridians’ daily lives. The year-round campaign features seasonal messages, starting with “Fall Back” in November to encourage no more than once-a-week watering as temperatures begin cooling.

More information and water-saving tips can be found at www.WaterLessFlorida.com. To learn how your neighbors across the District are saving water, visit our Water Less Heroes series here.