Water Conservation

Surrounded by water, be it lakes, rivers, or oceans, one may not realize that fresh water is a precious - and limited - resource.  Although scarce for a myriad of reasons, one of the more impacting reasons is Florida's population expansion.  A classic case of supply verses demand, more water is being drawn from the aquifer faster than it is being replenished.  The "recharging" of an aquifer occurs naturally through groundwater and precipitation percolation.  That is, when it rains, water gets absorbed into the ground and as it travels through the multiple geological layers the water is purified of some natural compounds.  Depending on the aquifer and the unique soil characteristics above it, it may take many years for the water to penetrate the aquifer.  Pair an increase in population with other limiting factors like aquifer contamination, irrigation over-consumption, and an increase in nonporous materials (e.g. parking lots, new construction), aquifer-drawn water becomes more and more scarce.

Efforts to conserve water can be seen in many different areas.  Large-scale efforts include expediting the aquifer-recharging process.  One such program can be found at Water Conserv II in Orange County.  The organization purchases wastewater, treats it, and either sells the reclaimed water for irrigation-only purposes, or sprinkles it over a sandy basin called a RIB to recharge the aquifer.  Small-scale efforts are seen by residents and companies alike.  An overall attempt to reduce water consumption include updating water fixtures (e.g. low-flow faucets, low-flush toilets), installing a rain sensor on irrigation programs, landscaping with native and drought-tolerant plants, inspecting irrigation systems for broken components, and checking for running toilets and plumbing leaks.  
See the helpful hints on EPA's page for Fix A Leak Week.
Over the years, the Town has taken measures to endorse the State's campaign to conserve water.  The following list details the major practices the Town has implemented toward that goal:                                                                                                                               
  • 2009 - Town updated its code of ordinances concerning water conservation (view it here).

  • 2011 - Town elected to improve meters townwide.  Manual-read meters were replaced with smart meters.  The smart meters use telemetry to capture and record consumption every five minutes.  Consumption reports are generated the 'day after', meaning the system has the potential to alert customers of abnormal usage within 24 hours.  If you haven't already done so, register your account at Town Hall to have access to the homeowner portal.        
  • 2013 - Town adopted new water rates and structure to encourage reduced consumption. Current rate structure can be found here.                                                                      
  • 2014 - Town elected to install minimal irrigation at the remodeled VanderLey Park.  The irrigation system was limited to the trees and shrubs to help establish the new specimens. Chosen irrigation components included underground seeping and bubblers to prevent evaporation.  The remainder of the park was sodded with drought-tolerant bahia grass.       
  • 2015 - The Town began an annual tradition of distributing low-flow shower heads over the course of a designated celebratory week.                                                                                      
  • 2016 - Town sought inter-local deal with City of Clermont to provide treatment of wastewater, which in turn will be processed into reclaimed water.