In a state surrounded by and covered by water, it’s hard to imagine water being in short supply anywhere. But that is exactly the case in Florida. Fickle weather alternates long wet periods with long dry periods, keeping the fresh water supply constantly front of mind for residents. With more than half of residential water used outdoors, landscape irrigation is a major focus of state and local conservation programs.
For a Leesburg, Florida, homeowners association faced with year-round restrictions and an antiquated irrigation system, outdoor water use was a particular concern. They knew their outdated system wasted a lot of water and they wanted to do something about it.
In the 2011 rainy season, the community received 17.73 inches of rain from May to August and the homeowners association used 12.4 million gallons of water during that time, costing over $33,000. After researching a number of modern irrigation systems that matched their needs, they found the combination of Weathermatic’s SmartLine weather-based controller with SmartLink web-based control to be the best fit. Thanks to a state-run conservation program that covered half the cost of the system, HOA members expected their water savings to pay for the system within three years.
When the 2012 rainy season hit, the community received 23.7 inches of rain in the same time period but the HOA only used 3 million gallons of water, costing $11,000. With the new SmartLink system installed and fully operational, they saved 9 million gallons of water and $22,000 in the first year. Despite their three-year payback forecast, tremendous first-year savings meant the upgraded irrigation system had a one year ROI.