Waterwise Landscaping Plant Information
Florida's Water Management Districts have developed a valuable and beautiful database of waterwise plant information to help Floridians save water on their landscaping. Click here to be directed to the St. Johns River Water Management District website (www.sjrwmd.org).
Snap to it and Get Waterwise!
Bring your waterwise garden pictures to the UC and receive a free sprinkler timer (a $12 value). We want to show you how easy it is to incorporate waterwise, Florida-friendly plants into your gardens and landscaped areas.
Be sure your photos have:
- you in them
- your waterwise plants clearly shown and identified
All pictures will be displayed in our lobby and on our website. You'll help others get waterwise ideas to beautify their gardens and you'll receive a free sprinkler timer.
Plumbago and Lariope
Bird of Paradise and Ginger Butterfly
Needlepoint Ornamental Perennial Peanut
Prickly Pear and Cabbage Palm
Showerhead Exchange Program
Bring in your old 2.5 gpm showerhead to Customer Service, and receive a FREE kit containing:
- A high-performance 1.25 gpm showerhead
- A 1.5 gpm dual-spray kitchen sink aerator
- Two 1 gpm bathroom faucet aerators
- A toilet fill cycle diverter
- And more!
Note: You must be a UC water customer.
Limit one free showerhead per service location.
Lawn and Landscape Irrigation Rules
The St. Johns River Water Management District watering rules are in effect for all customers, regardless of whether you live within the city or county limits. These rules will update on Nov. 1, 2009.
- Water outdoors only when needed.
- Irrigation is prohibited between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Irrigation is limited to no more than two days per week on scheduled days:
- Residential irrigation at odd numbered addresses or no addresses is allowed on Wednesday and Saturday.
- Residential irrigation at even numbered addresses is allowed on Thursday and Sunday.
- Non-residential irrigation is allowed on Tuesday and Friday.
Learn more about SJRWMD's lawn and landscape irrigation rule.
Click here to for Florida- Friendly Landscaping tips
Waterwise Florida Landscapes from the St. Johns River Water Management District
Consider Planting a Rain Garden This Spring
As spring begins and gardening season gets underway, consider installing a rain garden in this year’s landscaping plan.
What is a rain garden?
A rain garden is a garden planted in an area of your yard that normally collects rain, like a sloped recession or a dip. These gardens, which thrive in areas where rain accumulation makes grass hard to grow, collect rain runoff and help filter the water. The result is cleaner water enters our soil and groundwater supply, instead of running off your property and collecting pollutants on the way toward local waterways.
Why plant a rain garden?
Planting a rain garden can be a personal contribution to cleaner water, healthier fish and wildlife populations, and an improved environment for everyone. Rain gardens:
- Increase the amount of water filtering into the ground which helps replenish our aquifers and potable (drinking) water supply,
- Enhance the beauty of your yard and your neighborhood,
- Provide valuable wildlife habitats for birds, butterflies, and small mammals,
- Use less water and require less maintenance than the lawns or other landscaping they replace.
What should I plant?
Use native Florida plants—they easily tolerate our climate’s alternately moist and dry conditions. Consider some of the Florida-friendly shrubs, trees, and plants listed in the March 2009 bill insert.
Installing & maintaining rain gardens
Experimenting plays a part in the process, but these tips can help your rain garden be successful:
- Mix plants and use grasses—native grasses will help keep wildflowers upright.
- Select colors and plants that will attract birds, small mammals, and butterflies.
- Weeds may be a problem the first year, but as the plants get established, fewer weeds should appear.
- Reconstruct or replant areas that aren’t doing well.
Source: University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences booklet—”Rain Gardens” & the UF/IFAS Okeechobee Extension
- Run your dishwasher only when it's full; use the rinse-and-hold dishwasher feature until you're ready to run a full load.
- Don't pre-rinse dishes before loading the dishwasher. Our tests show pre-rinsing doesn't improve cleaning, and by skipping this step, you'll save as much as 20 gallons per load, or 6,500 gallons per year.
- If you're buying a new dishwasher, consider a water-saver. The most water-efficient models we've tested use only about 4 gallons per wash—about a third of what the least efficient models used.
Visit our Green Ratings to find the most water-efficient dishwasher that meets your needs.
- Run your washing machine only when it's full.
- For your next washing machine consider a water-saver. The most water-efficient washer we've tested, the front-loading Kenmore (Sears) Elite HE 4t, uses only about 30 gallons for a large, 19 pound load, about the same amount that many machines use for an 8-pound load. Visit our Green Ratings to find the most water-efficient washing machine that meets your needs.
LAWN-CARE & GARDENING
- To reduce the amount of water you give to your lawn, adjust your lawnmower to cut grass no shorter than three inches. Taller grass encourages deeper roots and shades the soil to reduce moisture loss.
Visit our Green Ratings to view features and performance results of lawnmower models.
- Add compost or peat moss to soil to improve its water-holding capacity. Visit our Green Ratings to find a compost bin that meets your needs.
About Florida's Drinking Water Supply
Florida’s water is one of our most precious resources. We are so fortunate to have as our drinking water source the pure Floridan Aquifer. The Floridan aquifer is the portion of the principal artesian aquifer that extends into Florida, parts of southern Alabama, southeastern Georgia, and southern South Carolina. In Florida it supplies the cities of Daytona, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Ocala, St. Petersburg, and Tallahassee and numerous rural communities.
The principal artesian aquifer is the largest, oldest, and deepest aquifer in the southeastern U.S. Ranging over 100,000 square miles, it underlies all of Florida and the Floridan portion developed millions of years ago during the late Paleocene to early Miocene periods, when Florida was underwater.
But Florida is the fourth largest state in terms of population, and it is predicted that it will takeover New York’s rank of third by the 2010 census. There is concern that our water supply will not be large enough, so the Utilities Commission is undertaking some important studies to determine alternative water sources for the future.
Some of these include working with our adjacent cities and preserving and leveraging our land to store and harvest water for our future needs. We do not receive any tax money and are totally funded through our operations and services.
The St. Johns River Water Management District has required all water suppliers to identify new water sources to augment and ensure water sources for existing and future customers. But individuals can make a difference too. Take a look at your water consumption around your home or business. Small changes can mean lower water usage and lower bills, too! Please check out these websites for information on water conservation.
St. Johns River Water Management District
USGS Florida Integrated Science Center
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Water Conservation House