While Florida is surrounded by water and filled with lakes, rivers, and springs, clean, fresh (meaning not salty) water is not an unending resource. Each year more and more saltwater seeps in our aquifer, and the crystal clear water that we depend on for drinking, showering, and watering our lawns is replaced with salt water which is not ideal for any of the same functions.
For this reason, communities around the country are considering different ways to reuse water for irrigation. This water also referred to as non potable water, is not up to the safety standards of drinking water but is still safe to use. If you’re looking to invest in a sprinkler system, or want to upgrade the system you already have, consider these three types of nonpotable water that will help reduce your consumption and lower your costs.
Collect Rainwater At Home
During the summer in Florida, rain is a plentiful resource and most of the rainwater on or around your property drains off into the sewers. However, if you were to collect this rainwater it could be used to irrigate your lawn or garden, even to wash your car. The easiest way to collect rainwater is to purchase a handful of rain barrels for your property. These barrels come in a variety of sizes and can be hooked up to a hose or irrigation system. The only drawback to this method is that the volume of water is limited, so you may have plenty of rainwater to irrigate your lawn during the summer, but run out during the winter when it doesn’t rain very often.
Reclaimed City Water
Stetson University, located right in our own backyard sets a great example for using reclaimed, non-potable water for their irrigation. This particular initiative, combined with several other water saving tactics has allowed them to decrease their water usage by over 1 million gallons per year. Check with your city’s water department to see if reclaimed water is available for private usage. In addition to helping the planet, using reclaimed water can also significantly decrease your monthly water bill.
Reusing Gray Water
Gray water refers to the water that runs down your sink or tub or from your washing machine. Since gray water is only slightly dirty and poses less of a health risk than the water you flush or the water that goes down the kitchen sink, it can be reused to irrigate your lawn. In states where water is even more scarce of a resource, the use of gray water for irrigation is becoming more and more common, and with some investment on your part, you too could use gray water on your lawn.
Of the three recommendations above, the most efficient and labor saving way to reuse water for irrigating your lawn is to get reclaimed water from your municipality. However, even the smallest adjustments to your lawn watering process can save you money and waste less clean drinking water. If you're interested in seeing how we can help you find a non-potable water solution for watering your lawn, give us a call today.