Why Have Restrictions on Well and Reclaimed Water?


By Rick Orr
Sprinkler head irrigating a lawn
When you water a lawn with a well or reclaimed water, you're not wasting water, you're recycling water

Why Restrict Self-Supplied Irrigation Systems?

SWFWMD was asked "Why restrictions on well and reclaimed water sources when there is no shortage of well or reclaimed water?

The SWFWMD answer was simple: To reduce the use of potable water, they restrict ALL irrigation.

Why Restrict All Irrigation?

SWFWMD enforces a blanket restriction on all irrigation for “practical considerations” described as:

  • Ease of Education
  • Ease of Enforcement
  • Improve the Effectiveness of the restrictions on potable demand

In other words, the softer and easier way is to turn off everybody's irrigation. The goal is have the appearance of saving water. But restricting all irrigation does not save potable - restrictions destroy private property. They even acknowledge that fact but they consider the ends justify the means.

Do the Restrictions Work?

SWFWMD does not know. They only have their logical reasoning to justify their actions:

  • People use more potable water during hot dry weather
  • Lawns use more water during hot dry weather
  • Therefore if you reduce lawn watering, you reduce potable water usage.

Their logic is deeply flawed because most irrigated lawns depend on wells and reclaimed water for irrigation. Restrictions do make the bureaucrat's life easier and life miserable for the citizen.

A Better Way to Reduce Potable Water Usage

Here is a simpler, easier way: Outlaw using potable water for lawns and landscapes!

There is this thing on every house called a water meter. A house using potable water for irrigation will use 1000's more gallons of water than normal households. Find those homes with city water for irrigation and penalize them and stop penalizing reclaimed and well users. And stop destroying private property.


Rick Orr Owner-Staff Agronomist Barefoot Grassl/Creator of ILOVETURF.COM
Staff Agronomist at Barefoot Grass

Since 1995, Rick Orr has worked in Pinellas County providing turf management and pest control. Rick Orr is a graduate of VA Tech in Agronomy (Turf Ecology) and the creator of Iloveturf.com. 

Since graduating from VA Tech in 1979, Rick worked in the green industry, mostly with golf courses, resorts, and large communities. Rick has obtained certifications in arboriculture, landscape, irrigation, and taught Environmental Horticulture at St Petersburg College. 

Currently, Rick is the Staff Agronomist at Barefoot Grass in Largo, FL. To learn more about Barefoot Grass https://www.barefootgrass.com/ Free Price Quote from Barefoot Grass for Home Pest Control and/or Lawn Care https://www.barefootgrass.com/contact-weed-control/ 

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