John's Florida Real Estate Blog


Save Big by Conserving Water Outside in Zephyrhills and Pasco County, Florida

InkleAs many local residents of Pasco County, Florida are very aware, we currently have a drought occurring here. Just last weekend we had a brush fire break out 20 miles to the west of us, but at my home I could smell smoke so strong that it seemed that the neighbor's home was on fire instead of a piece of land faraway. With this in mind the county and other municipalities have issued special advisories and recommendations that I felt it was wise to pass on to you. They may help keep us safe, hold wildfires to a minimum, and in the long run save us some money, which is also in short supply at this time.

Outdoor water use can account for up to 50 percent of water consumed by households, which means it is where water conservation practices can make the biggest impact.

 “Pasco County (in 2009)  is in the “critical” level of a four-level drought severity index which ranges from “moderate” and increasing in intensity through “severe,” “extreme” and “critical”, and we still have about five weeks until the rainy season begins,” said Sue Chase, Customer Affairs Manager for Pasco County Utilities.  “

Pasc County is very serious about this water shortage. We are urging all residents to reduce their use—especially for outdoor water use.  We placed our message on the libraries’ external marquis signs, PCPT has added the message to all of its buses on the inside, we are including the message on utility bills each month, and we’re monitoring spikes in water usage by consumers.”

 Pasco County Utilities and the Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Program offer these ways on how you can reduce your outdoor water consumption by inspecting your irrigation system and using a rain sensor.

Inspecting Your Irrigation System

  • On your irrigation day, manually start your irrigation system for each zone to check for leaks, broken pipes, damaged or tilted sprinkler heads, blocked sprinkler patterns and overspray onto impermeable surfaces such as roads and sidewalks.
  • Check for soft, wet spots that are around the inground sprinkler head. These spots could indicate a leak that is being absorbed into the ground. Contact your irrigation maintenance specialist if repairs are needed.
  • Look for dry spots. They are a sign of one of the following: the sprinklers may be placed too far apart; the water pressure is low; sprinkler patterns may be blocked by overgrown grass; shrubs or low-hanging limbs may be blocking the sprinklers; or the screens inside the sprinklers are clogged.
  • Adjust, move or add sprinkler heads if your current sprinklers do not throw water 80 to 100 percent of the distance to the adjacent sprinkler.
  • A garden hose without a shutoff nozzle can waste 530 gallons of water in an hour. Use a shutoff nozzle on your hose that can be adjusted down to a fine spray so that water flows only as needed. When finished, turn it off at the spigot instead of at the nozzle to avoid leaks.

 Inspecting Your Rain Shutoff Device

  • If you have an automatic sprinkler system, be sure it is equipped with a working rain shutoff device to override the system when enough rain has fallen. As water evaporates from the device, the irrigation system will resume normal operation. Rain shutoff devices, also known as rain sensors, are requiredFlorida law on all automatic irrigation systems installed since 1991.
  • Make sure the rain shutoff device is located away from overhead obstructions, with a clear view of the sky and at least five feet away from air-conditioning units or pool heaters.
  • Check the rain shutoff device regularly to ensure the device is working properly and that the corresponding switch in the control box is set at “on.” Test the device by wetting the sensor to verify the system won’t operate when the controller has received the set amount of water.
  • Adjust the sensor to interrupt irrigation after three-quarters to one inch of rainfall. If there is a vent ring located just below the cap, the vent can be closed or partially closed to restrict air flow through the discs. Make sure the vent is closed so it will allow the disks to dry more slowly, thus keeping the system off for a longer period of time. This adjustment is used to compensate for an “overly sunny” location.
  • If you need to replace or purchase a new rain shutoff device you can purchase one at home improvement stores for between $17 and $60.

You can get more information at the following website:


Source: Pasco County Utilities Department


John Elwell - REALTOR


Bill Nye Realty, Inc.


Licensed in Florida


Comment balloon 0 commentsJohn Elwell • May 11 2009 11:24AM


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