Florida Water Star is a program designed to help Floridians conserve water. There are several different types of improvements that can be made, both to existing commercial and residential buildings as well as planned developments, to lessen water consumption. Last week we explored some of the improvements that can be made indoors to become certified with Florida Water Star. The next step is to explore the outdoor improvements that can be done to reduce water consumption. The biggest changes come with improvements to landscaping and irrigation, which can both be major contributors to how much water we use.
To become Florida Water Star Certified, your new or existing development should consider the following improvements to the irrigation system:
- Separate irrigation zones for turf grass and landscape beds
- Sprinklers are located less than 2 feet from structures and rise above turf height
- No leaks throughout the system
- Spray patterns are correct, maximizing landscaping coverage and minimizing impervious area coverage.
- Pipes are designed to prevent high velocity, and have matched precipitation rates
- Rain shut off device is installed and functioning.
- Irrigation schedule does not exceed 12.5 gallons.
Landscaping is another way in which we can help reduce water consumption. Florida Water Star requirements include the following when considering landscaping:
- No invasive or exotic plant species
- Turf grass and landscaped beds are kept distinctly different.
- Root balls are at least 2.5 feet from foundation of structure.
- Plants are spaced for growth to maturity
- Plant selections are compatible with site-specific growing conditions including sunlight, soil, and salinity
- Plants are grouped by similar maintenance and moisture requirements
Similarly to indoor improvements, all outdoor improvements must be inspected and verified by an accredited professional. If you are interested in improving your water usage, be sure to contact KCI for assistance, or to have one of our accredited professionals assist with certification!