What is Florida Water Star?
Florida water star is a program that seeks to conserve water in both new and existing homes and commercial developments through a certification program. The program runs under the same idea as the existing energy star certification, only with an emphasis on water use and conservation as opposed to energy savings. It was started as a St. John’s Water Management District program in 2008, and eventually made state wide in 2012. To become certified, you must achieve a certain level of water conservation requirements using irrigation, landscaping, and indoor enhancements. Today, we will be covering some of the indoor enhancements you can include in your home, or in a planned development to become Florida Water Star certified.
An existing home can become certified by implementing some of the following enhancements into their home (look for WaterSense labeled products, as these meet the requirements):
- Fixture and appliance water supply connections are reinforced.
- Use high efficiency low flush toilets.
- Use a low flow showerhead.
- Bathroom sink faucets are low flow.
- Use of Energy Star appliances.
For those that are in the development stage, the builder must also meet some minimum requirements to have a Florida Water Star certified project. The project uses the following form to demonstrate compliance. It takes into account things such as toilets, faucets, appliances, HVAC, and other items that must meet a certain minimum standard for certification to be possible.
What’s to Gain?
Florida water star is a program designed to help protect one of the most valuable resources on the planet – Fresh, potable water. Aside from the peace of mind that you may gain from helping with the conservation effort, there are also several kick-backs that you may qualify for by having a Florida Water Star approved project. Several rebates are available depending on where you are in Florida. The OUC (Orlando Utility Commission), Toho Water Authority, Polk County, Alachua County, and a host of others all have rebates or other incentives associated with the Florida Water Star certification.
The work does not end just by indoor requirements. We use a lot of water outdoors as well, and things like irrigation and landscaping play a large part in water use and conservation – Look for outdoor suggestions next week for a follow up! As the applicant, make sure that you have the necessary documentation for all improvements, and verify your project meets standards with an accredited professional inspection. For further information, or if you have a project you would like to have certified, be sure to contact KCI. As an official Florida Water Star certifier, KCI can help guide you through the process and reach certification.