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 Irrigation Frequently Asked Questions
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Q. I live inside a city, is the County enforcing irrigation rules inside city limits?
A. No, the County can only enforce its irrigation rules outside city limits. The County and cities have been cooperating extensively on irrigation issues and many of the municipalities have adopted the same restrictions; other towns and cities are considering them too. If you are within the city limits, please contact your municipality for assistance. For your convenience, points of contact are listed below:

Astatula Town Clerk (352) 742-1100 or e-mail
Clermont Water Conservation (352) 241-7338 or e-mail
Eustis Utilities Department (352) 483-5480
Fruitland Park Public Works (352) 360-6795 or e-mail
Groveland Utilities Department (352) 429-0227
Howey-in-the-Hills Town Clerk (352) 324-2290 or e-mail
Lady Lake Public Works (352) 751-1526 or e-mail
Leesburg Utility Department (352) 728-9845
Mascotte Code Enforcement (352) 429-3393
Minneola Utilities Department (352) 394-3598 or e-mail
Montverde Town Clerk  (407) 469-2681 or e-mail
Mount Dora Utilities (352) 735-7151 x 1805 or e-mail
Tavares (Police) (352) 742-6300
The Villages Community Watch (352) 753-0550
Umatilla City Hall (352) 669-3125
Q. I have a vegetable garden in my backyard; do the irrigation restrictions apply to it?
A. No, the restrictions apply solely to irrigation of turf, shrubs, flowers and other landscaping in your yard. It is still wise not to apply water to your garden between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. as much of the water you apply evaporates and never reaches the roots. Also, try to minimize overhead watering as it is less efficient and can lead to disease problems for your plants.
Q. Why are some areas approved for alternative schedules?
A. Some water systems within the County are limited in their capability to provide sufficient water pressure simultaneously for everyday household use, fire pressure for emergency use, and irrigation. By spreading out the use over a greater time period, specifying particular times within the subdivision, or varying the schedule, the water provider has the ability to balance the demand and deliver adequate pressure to all customers. This can occur because of a number of factors depending on the system itself and its location. St. Johns Water Management District recognized this possibility when it created the landscape irrigation rule and allows local jurisdictions to approve alternative schedules.
Q. I don't have an automatic irrigation system, when can I water?
A. Your watering day is the same as if you had an automatic system.
Q. I have installed new sod/landscaping and know I can water every day for the first 30 days and every other day the next 30 days. How can I prevent being cited for violating the rules?
A. You have several options. First, if you call the Office of Code Enforcement at 352-343-9639 we will enter the information into our database so that our staff and enforcement personnel are aware of it and won't issue a violation. Second, if you choose not to advise us, just have a copy of your receipt available showing the purchase and note when the items were installed. If enforcement personnel arrive to investigate, simply show them the receipt. If you don't happen to be at home and find a violation notice posted, simply call the enforcement officer and advise them and they will be happy to cancel the violation.
Q. My neighbor is watering their yard on the correct day for their address, but runs each zone 3 times during that day. Is this a violation?
A. It may or may not be a violation. The rule does not limit the number of times sprinklers run during a day only the amount of time they may run in any zone (1 hour) or amount of water applied (3/4"). Evaluation of this violation would be done on a case-by-case basis.
Q. I get my irrigation water from the canal behind my house; do the rules apply to me?
A. Yes, the rules apply to application of water from a well, public supply, canal, lake, or any other natural source. The only exceptions to the rule are for reclaimed water and recycled water from wet detention treatment ponds that are not augmented by ground or off-site surface water, or public supply sources.
Q. When should my community water our common areas and around the clubhouse?
A. As non-residential properties, common areas should be watered on Tuesday and Friday.
Q. I water my yard by hand using a hose with an automatic shutoff nozzle, do the rules allow me to continue doing this?
A. Yes. As long as you are watering your yard by hand you are free to water on any day. If, however, you use a hose with a sprinkler attached and move it around your yard during the course of the day, you must comply with the schedule.
Q. Am I allowed to water my new shrubs every day for 30 days?
A. New shrubs, like turf grass and other landscaping, are subject to the exception that allows you to water daily for 30 days and then every other day for an additional 30 days. This does not mean that planting new shrubs allows you to water your entire yard on a daily basis, only the new shrubs or landscaping.
Q. I don't have an address on my house, when do I water?
A. Non-addressed structures should use the same schedule as those with odd numbers, Wednesday and Saturday. By the way, it's a good idea to get an address, how else will the ambulance, fire service, or sheriff find you?
Q. It rained this morning and my neighbor's sprinklers were running; it is their day to irrigate, but is this still a violation?
A. It may be a violation of the ordinance.* After 1991, every automatic irrigation system installed in the State has required a rain sensor; the ordinance requires a homeowner to maintain the sensor and ensure it functions properly. A replacement sensor can be easily found anywhere irrigation system parts are sold including most hardware and home improvement stores. It is easy to install and does not require a permit.

* Most rain sensors operate using a small disk that absorbs humidity and rain which in turn makes the disk swell, tripping an electrical switch and disabling the sprinkler. Sensors can be easily set or adjusted by a homeowner to turn off the irrigation system when it has rained. The University of Florida recommends sensors be set to trigger when ¼" of rainfall has fallen.

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