In an effort to address the low-pressure issues experienced by its reclaimed water customers, the City of Titusville Water Resources Department has conducted extensive investigations and discovered a surprising cause.

Despite finding no significant flaws within the distribution system, the department has determined that excessive water usage by some customers, particularly during dry weather, has depleted the supply of reclaimed water available to others.

The recent investigation unveiled that certain reclaimed water customers have been exceeding irrigation restrictions, resulting in a strain on the available resources. Homeowner Associations with specific requirements for lush, high-water use turf exacerbate the problem further.

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To shed light on this issue, the department shares research demonstrating that Florida homeowners consume significantly more water for irrigation compared to the national average. In some counties, irrigation alone can account for as much as sixty to seventy percent of total water usage.

To put this into perspective, the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at UF/IFAS Extension published a study titled “AE585 How Much Water Am I Using to Irrigate My Yard.”

According to their findings, adhering to the recommended irrigation depth of ½ inch equates to approximately 991 gallons per irrigation event. This volume is equivalent to the water consumed by various appliances throughout the household.

Reclaimed water is treated sewage effluent that undergoes treatment to be repurposed for irrigation. The availability of reclaimed water is directly tied to the amount of sewage received.

Although the sewage generated per home is significantly less than the reclaimed water used during each sprinkler system cycle, there is a limited supply of sewage, which restricts the availability of reclaimed water.

The Water Resources Department emphasizes that adhering to irrigation restrictions is crucial to ensure fair distribution of reclaimed water among customers. By surpassing the permitted two times a week irrigation limit, individuals unknowingly consume reclaimed water that others could have utilized.

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While the scarcity of reclaimed water may not be evident during periods of regular rainfall, it becomes a pressing concern during drought conditions when excessive watering is prompted by browning lawns and wilting flowers.

To address this issue and promote sustainable practices, the Water Resources Department suggests homeowners adopt alternative measures to conserve water. Instead of relying solely on irrigation, residents are encouraged to explore drought-tolerant landscaping options and embrace Florida-friendly plants and trees.

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Expanding plant beds and implementing natural berms and plant layers can minimize water requirements while enhancing the aesthetics of their yards.

Additionally, repairing broken sprinkler heads and adjusting irrigation systems to target green areas rather than non-essential surfaces such as driveways, streets, and sidewalks can significantly improve water efficiency.

By taking these measures, homeowners can contribute to conserving reclaimed water and alleviate the strain on the distribution system. Furthermore, this proactive approach enables communities to become more environmentally responsible and resilient in the face of water scarcity.

The City of Titusville Water Resources Department remains committed to ensuring a reliable supply of reclaimed water for all customers. However, it is crucial for every individual to recognize their role in preserving this valuable resource.

Together, by making conscious choices and adopting water-efficient practices, residents can secure a sustainable future for Titusville’s reclaimed water system and contribute to the broader conservation efforts in the region.

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