Residential Reclaimed Water Program
All citizens of Seminole County will realize an indirect financial benefit from the project because it will help postpone the need to develop more costly potable water sources. The St. Johns River Water Management District has stated that there might not be a sufficient supply of groundwater to meet the long-term growth needs of the region. By using reclaimed water now, the County can extend the use of groundwater for a longer period of time and be less dependent on more expensive potable water supply sources in the future.
With an ever-growing population and a finite supply of available drinking water, finding new water supply sources is critical. One way to conserve is to use reclaimed water for irrigation purposes. In fact, water conservation and the use of reclaimed water are state objectives. Studies show that more than 62 percent of the drinking water used in Florida is for watering lawns and landscapes (per St. Johns River Water Management District’s Special Publication on Residential Irrigation Efficiency Assessment Final Report). In the Northwest service area of Seminole County this figure is approximately 70-75 percent. Irrigating with reclaimed water offers a proven method for conserving our drinking water supplies. The Residential Reclaimed Program is expected to save more than 1,000,000 gallons of potable water per day. That’s enough to fill 67 swimming pools every day.
Protection of the Floridan Aquifer
Most of our drinking water is pumped from the Floridan Aquifer, the fresh water found deep underground in the openings within a thick layer of limestone. This source provides high-quality water that requires little treatment, helping to keep your water bill low. Pumping too much water from the Floridan Aquifer can have negative impacts. It can cause lake levels to drop, spring flows to slow or stop and wetlands to recede as well as increase the likelihood of sinkholes. It can also contribute to saltwater intrusion and decreased water quality requiring more extensive water treatment. By irrigating with reclaimed water we can reduce the amount of water we pump from the Floridan Aquifer. It will reduce the stress on our valuable drinking water resources and help maintain a healthy groundwater supply.
An Environmentally Friendly Way to Discharge Reclaimed Water
The Yankee Lake Regional Water Reclamation Facility produces as much as 2.1 million gallons per day (MGD) of highly treated reclaimed water. As population growth continues, finding environmentally friendly ways to use this resource becomes an increasing challenge. In addition to irrigating the Northwest Service Area’s reclaimed customers, the reclaimed water is discharged two ways: 1) discharged into rapid infiltration basins that allow the reclaimed water to slowly infiltrate back into the aquifer and 2) discharged into spray fields at the treatment plant. The capacity of these two outlets is limited, and growth continues. A better way to use this resource is for irrigation.
Irrigating with potable water may be severely restricted during droughts. Reclaimed water, however, if used conservatively, may be subject to less stringent restrictions. This will help residents maintain a healthy, beautiful lawn. Even during very dry periods of time, your landscape investment is better protected with reclaimed water.
Wednesday and Saturday - Odd numbered houses
Thursday and Sunday - Even numbered houses
Non-residential - Tuesday and Friday
No Watering any day between 10 AM to 4 PM.
It’s important to remember that over-watering can be harmful to lawns and plants. Research at the University of Florida recommends a maximum irrigation rate for St. Augustine sod of two times per week, a half inch each time. As always, you should only water between 4 p.m. - 10 a.m. to avoid losing water to evaporation. The County encourages conservation of reclaimed water as a valuable resource.
Reclaimed water is unlike water from most shallow wells. It is colorless and free from the minerals that can cause staining of houses, driveways and sidewalks.
High-Quality Reclaimed Water
Reclaimed water is a high quality alternative water source that has received at least secondary treatment and is reused after being discharged from a domestic wastewater treatment facility. Moreover, there are some constituents, such as nitrogen and phosphorus found in recycled water. These constituents are beneficial for plant growth, and will serve as an additional "fertilizing" source.