Every day, Sarasota County treats over 8 million gallons of wastewater. This
results in highly treated, disinfected reclaimed water for irrigation. In the past
this valuable resource would just be wasted. We have practiced a better option
for over a decade, reclaiming and reusing this resource for irrigation needs.
The Future of Reclaimed Water
Sarasota County is evaluating the establishment
Reclaimed water is an important component of both wastewater
of an irrigation utility. It will include more than management and water resource management in Florida.
just reclaimed water for irrigation. This
innovative concept would use alternative sources Why Use Reclaimed Water?
for irrigation such as stormwater runoff.
• Reduces the demand on water supplies
It is important to conserve our highly treated used for drinking
drinking water for drinking. Irrigation water can
be treated differently and still provide what a • Postpones development of costly new sources
landscape needs. This illustrates the concept “the and supplies of drinking water
right water for the right useTM.” • Enhances landscapes through irrigation
As the reuse system grows, additional • Reduces groundwater pumping
equipment needed to operate it will be • Saves on potable water bills
evaluated. Improvements will be made to
increase the reliability of reclaimed water
• Provides a responsible and environmentally
delivery to our customers. sensitive alternative to effluent disposal
In 1996, water reclamation facilities were
Reclaimed Water Rates Who Uses Reclaimed Water? interconnected to provide additional
Reclaimed water is the result of In Florida supplies to areas needing it most. This
The rate for reclaimed water is currently $0.44 purifying wastewater at a allows reclaimed water to be delivered
per 1,000 gallons. The cost to produce reclaimed • Over 584 million gallons per day of reclaimed
where customer demand is greatest.
water is actually two to three times higher than water reclamation facility. water are reused for landscape irrigation,
what is charged. The product is then reused for wetlands, ground water recharge, industrial The Southwest Florida Water Management
landscape irrigation. Extensive and agricultural applications. District helped to offset financial costs for
The Board of County Commissioners reviews interconnecting Sarasota’s water
reclaimed water rates every two years. treatment and disinfection ensure • Over 122,000 residences, 419 golf courses,
reclamation facilities. Over six million
For more information, please contact that public health and the 405 parks and 188 schools use reclaimed dollars in grants have been received for
Customer Service at 861-6790 or visit the environment are protected. water for irrigation. reuse transmission lines, storage facilities,
website at www.scgov.net and search for Approximately 46% of all domestic wastewater and pumping stations, which helps keep
“reclaimed water”, or email us at produced is reused. down the cost for reclaimed water.
• Over 2,300 single family homes, 10 multi-family
Accolades developments, medians, common areas, parks,
• In March of 1999, Sarasota County Utilities 19 golf courses and a sod farm receive
received the prestigious Dr. David W. York reclaimed water.
Water Reuse Award in recognition of the • More than 80% of County wastewater
Development and Operation of an exemplary is reused.
water reuse program.
Using reclaimed water for irrigation conserves
• In 2001, Sarasota County’s Regional Reuse over six million gallons per day of groundwater
System was presented the Municipal Water Use or 2.2 billion gallons a year. That’s enough to
Efficiency Award for the most innovative and supply the drinking water needs of over
effective Reclamation and Reuse Program. 36,000 families. Extensive testing has not found any
giardia lambia or cryptosporidium in our
When can I water my landscape? Several communities along the gulf coast are Did you know? Attract Wildlife
beginning to store highly treated water Plants in your yard that provide food, water
Reclaimed watering days schedule • Our studies indicate that the use of reclaimed
underground so that it can be retreived later and shelter can help conserve Florida’s
for residential, common areas, and water for irrigation is highly variable. Those
when needed. Sarasota County’s water resource diverse wildlife.
multi-family users: who don’t directly pay for it (billed through a
team will continue to monitor advancements in homeowner’s association) will use twice as Control Yard Pests Responsibly
Odd numbered addresses: science and technology related to this aquifer much as those customers that pay directly. Unwise use of pesticides can harm people, pets,
Monday 11:00 p.m. – Tuesday 11:00 p.m. storage and recovery alternative.
• It takes the wastewater of about four
beneficial organisms, and the environment.
Even numbered addresses:
households to irrigate one lawn with reclaimed Recycle
Wednesday 11:00 p.m. – Thursday 11:00 p.m.
Irrigation Design water. In fact, applying one inch of water can Grass clippings, leaves, and yard trimmings are
New landscaping or system maintenance: use over 600 gallons per 1,000 square feet. A recycled on site to provide added nutrients to
Friday 11:00 p.m. – Saturday 11:00 p.m. and Installation
fairly small lawn (40 x 100 feet or 4,000 square the soil and to reduce waste disposal.
Bulk customers, such as golf courses, and Reclaimed water feet) might receive 2,500 gallons of water in a Reduce Stormwater Runoff
customers with storage facilities get large irrigation systems for single irrigation. Water run off from your yard can carry soil,
quantities of reclaimed water. Then they residential homes
• An application rate of ¾ inch for watering a debris, fertilizer and pesticides that can harm
repump the reuse when needed. should operate at
lawn should suffice. For information on water quality. Reduction of this runoff will help
40 pounds per
estimating the amount of water your irrigation reduce nonpoint source pollution.
square inch (PSI).
Reclaimed Water Is Not system delivers, contact the Sarasota County Protect the Waterfront
The water is Extension Service at 861-9800. Waterfront property, whether on a bay, river,
For Everything pumped through
stream, pond or beach, is very fragile and should
a master meter. For an attractive and environmentally sensitive
Sarasota County only provides reclaimed landscape make it “ Florida friendly.” be protected as a natural treasure.
water for irrigation purposes. It is NOT for: The distribution
system within the subdivision Florida Yards & Neighborhoods (FY&N) is a To find out more about any of these programs or
• Human or animal consumption other Florida friendly approaches to an
or multi-family community is the public education and outreach program available
• Field crops that are normally consumed responsibility of the community. Each customer to residents. attractive, healthy landscape, contact the
in a raw state must install a shut-off valve on their Sarasota County Cooperative Extension Office
• Interconnection with property so reclaimed water can be at (941) 861-9800, or visit the web site at:
turned off. The Nine Major FY&N Principles: http://sarasota.extension.ufl.edu/.
another water source
• Above ground hose bib, It is the responsibility of the customer to Right Plant, Right Place
install a backflow device on the drinking Plants selected for your site will require minimal
faucet, quick coupler or
water supply line before reclaimed water amounts of water, fertilizer and pesticides.
service can be provided. This prevents Water Efficiently
• Swimming pool filling or
cross connections that could contaminate Irrigate only when your lawn and landscape need
car washing the public water supply. water. Efficient watering is the key to a healthy
If there is a community irrigation well Florida yard and reduces runoff.
Reclaimed Water is a used for additional irrigation, a backflow Fertilize Appropriately
Balancing Act prevention device must be installed on Less is often best. Over-utilization of
the well to avoid potential well contamination. fertilizers can be hazardous to your yard
Florida receives most of its rainfall within a
Automatic rain sensors or shut-off devices for and the environment. Use slow release
four-month period, June through September.
irrigation systems prevent the system from fertilizers to reduce potential nitrate
Storing reclaimed water during these wet
operating during or immediately following pollution flowing off your lawn.
months is crucial to having it available during
dry periods. rainfall events. All automatic irrigation systems Mulch
must have a functioning shut-off device. Maintaining a 2-3" layer of mulch will
In addition, when it’s raining, customers don’t
Single-family in-ground irrigation systems may help retain soil and moisture, prevent
need to irrigate landscapes. Therefore when
be controlled either manually by zone valves or erosion, and suppress weeds. It also adds
there is no demand, reclaimed water needs
automatically by a timer. The system should not organic matter over time
to be stored. Our current reuse system has a
draw more than twenty gallons per minute and to our sandy soils.
350 million gallon storage capacity. Once we
reach full capacity, back-up disposal methods can run no longer than three hours per day on
are implemented. specified watering dates.