Below-average rainfall in seven north-central Florida counties including Flagler and concerns about the effects of the abnormally dry conditions on water resources have prompted the St. Johns River Water Management District to issue a Water Shortage Warning Order. The objective of the order is to reduce water use and ensure enough water is available to meet demand.
Palm Coast regularly practices many water conservation strategies – both for city operations and for Palm Coast residents and businesses.
Because of the new Water Shortage Warning Order, the city reminds citizens of some water restrictions, as well as offer tips for reducing water use during this time of potential prolonged drought. Flagler Beach and other communities are similarly cautioning residents and businesses.
“April is Water Conservation Month in Florida, but it’s important for all of us to save water year-round, especially in times of low rainfall and low water conditions,” said Palm Coast Utility Director Richard Adams. “Water is a precious natural resource – a commodity that cannot be taken for granted. Let’s all do our part to save water wherever we can.”
The city’s landscape irrigation policy reflects the Water Management District’s watering restrictions year-round. During Daylight Saving Time, residences and businesses may water lawns and shrubs twice a week. Odd-numbered residential addresses irrigate on Wednesdays and Saturdays, while even-numbered residential addresses irrigate on Thursdays and Sundays. Businesses irrigate on Tuesdays and Fridays.
For users of private irrigation wells, irrigation is allowed any time except between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on your designated day. For customers using the city’s water system, irrigation is allowed only between midnight and 10 a.m. on your designated day. Irrigation is limited to ¾ inch of water per irrigation zone and to no more than one hour per irrigation zone.
Hand-held hoses equipped with automatic shut-off nozzles and drip systems/bubblers are allowed at any time. When reclaimed water is available for irrigation use, the use of private irrigation wells is not authorized.
These restrictions apply to water withdrawn from ground or surface water, from a public or private well or pump or from a public or private water utility. They do not apply to irrigation using reclaimed water or storm water.
Water Conservation Tips
- Bathing. Taking a bath requires up to 70 gallons of water. A five-minute shower uses only 10 to 25 gallons. While you’re at it, time your shower to keep it under 5 minutes. You’ll save up to 1,000 gallons per month and that totals to $8.50 monthly. Even a step further, by installing a 2.5 gpm showerhead to replace a 5.5 gpm showerhead, a family of four can save 27,000 gallons of water per year. That’s a savings of $223!
- Washing dishes. When washing dishes by hand, use a spray device instead of running the water to rinse. This can save you 6,000 gallons per year, which totals out to $49.50. But even better, run the dishwasher instead of washing by hand. It uses less hot water and could save you $40 a year.
- Check for leaks. At 1 drip per second, a faucet can leak 3,000 gallons per year. The amount of water leaked from U.S. homes could exceed more than 1 trillion gallons per year. That equals the annual water use of Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami combined. To check for leaks, read your water meter before and after a 1-hour period when no water is being used. (Remember to wait for the ice maker to refill and for the regeneration of water softeners.) If the readings are different after the hour, you have a leak. Also, monitor your bill for unusually high use.
- Check your toilets. A running toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water per day. Also, installing a low-flow toilet can save you as much as 9,855 gallons of water per year; that’s $81.30.
- Reduce energy consumption. It takes water to make energy! By reducing energy use by just 10 percent, you could save 600 gallons of a water a year and $150 in energy bills!
- Turn it off. Turn off the water while you brush your teeth, wash your face, shave, wash dishes or clean house. The average faucet flows at a rate of 2 gallons per minute. You can save up to four gallons of water a day by turning off the faucet while you brush your teeth.
- Washing clothes. For washing machines with variable settings for water volume, select the minimum amount required per load. Otherwise wash only full loads. Also keep in mind that newer clothes washers use an average of 18 gallons of water per load. Older and non-water efficient washing machines can use as much as 40 gallons of water per load. That’s a waste of 12 gallons per load and $26 per year.
- Landscaping. Select native-Florida trees and shrubs that need less watering when landscaping.
- Pools. Covering your spa or pool can prevent it from losing water to evaporation. You can save as much as 12,000 gallons of water per year, that’s $99!
- Food preparation. When rinsing vegetables, use a filled pan instead of letting the water run. By doing this you can save 2,400 gallons of water per year. That’s $19.80!
- Water a plant. Never put water down the drain when there may be another use for it, such as watering a plant or cleaning.
- Limit flushes. Don’t use the toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket. Every time you flush a cigarette butt, facial tissue or other small bit of trash, five to seven gallons of water is wasted.
- Car washing. If you use a bucket to wash your car, you can save 150 gallons of water every time you don’t use the hose.
For additional ideas on saving water both indoors and outdoors, visit the Water Management District’s website at: http://www.sjrwmd.com/waterconservation/savingwater/.
The Water Management District’s complete news release on the Water Shortage Warning Order is available here: http://webapub.sjrwmd.com/agws10/news_release/ViewNews.aspx?nrd=nr17-056.
For more information about the city of Palm Coast’s water conservation practices, see our Environmental Management System report atwww.palmcoastgov.com/green. Or contact Cindi Lane, Communications & Marketing Manager, at 386-986-3708 or [email protected].