Reclaimed Water Use In Panama City Beach
Reclaimed Water Makes Sense!
In Panama City Beach, a safe and dependable water supply is vital to our economy and quality of life. Currently, the City purchases all of its potable (drinking) water supply from Bay County. The water is stored at two facilities and re-pumped on demand to customers through 300+ miles of the City’s distribution pipes.
To help meet future water demand, avoid water shortage, and reduce our dependence on potable water, the City has built a reclaimed water system to provide irrigation water in several areas of Panama City Beach. Reclaimed water is produced by the advanced treatment of wastewater collected from home and businesses.
The highly treated water is conveyed to a reclaimed water storage and pumping facility with the capability of holding 10 million gallons of water. Reclaimed water gives the Panama City Beach a dependable, year-round, and locally controlled water resource. Using reclaimed water is cost-effective, reliable, and good for the environment.
Reclaimed Water Uses
Landscape irrigation is the only approved use of reclaimed water within the City of Panama City Beach. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection sets the standards for required levels of treatment and uses for reclaimed water. These standards are included in the Florida Code of Regulation, Title Chapter 62-610.
Rules and Regulations
There are extensive rules and regulations covering reclaimed water usage. These include proper signage and making sure all pipes, sprinkler heads, meter boxes, and other irrigation equipment are marked or color-coded purple. This is done to distinguish them from potable supplies and to avoid any potential cross-connection. . Reclaimed water not permitted to use reclaimed water to spray sidewalks, driveways, roadways, ponds, creeks, swimming pools, etc. Also, it is not permitted to use reclaimed water for irrigation of vegetable gardens, unless drip irrigation is used. The City’s Cross-Connection personnel will work with customers to ensure they are in compliance with all State and local laws. Approved uses include irrigation of parks, residential and commercial landscaping, golf courses, and wetland projects.
Three Steps for Using Reclaimed Water
1. Verify your location
Verify if your location can receive reclaimed water. Please click on the service area map link to see the map.
2. Sign User Agreement
Customers sign a User Agreement to comply with the rules and regulations for reclaimed water use. To receive reclaimed water, there must be an in ground irrigation system with a rain gauge (required per Florida Statute 373.62) or hose bib in a locked box. A backflow device must be installed on the drinking water supply. After connecting to a reclaimed water source, use of potable water for irrigation purposes will not be allowed.
3. Design Review and Plan Check
Commercial projects with meter sizes larger than 2 inches will need authorized representatives to submit irrigation system design drawings to the City for review, approval, and pay the appropriate plan review fee. A conceptual drawing of the customer’s site is required for approval by the City of Panama City Beach.
4. Meter/Service Installation
The City will determine the fee for installing the appropriate sized meter. Once the customer pays the required fees, the City will process a work order and schedule installation. An annual inspection or cross-connection control test will be required by the City for each reclaimed water service. Customer will receive written notification via mail before the inspection date.
You will need to call Shedric Walker, Reclaimed Water Technician, at (850) 233-5054, ext. 2403 to schedule an inspection to verify all of the above requirements are met. Service will not be initiated until a satisfactory inspection is completed.
How Much Water Does Your Lawn Really Need?
Too Much Water is Bad For Your Lawn!
Would you give the same amount of water to a fern as you would to a cactus? Grass, just like other plants, like to have a certain amount of water. With too much water, the grass gets stressed and weak. The grass is more likely to get diseases, fungus, and become infested with harmful insects. Also, water-loving weeds like dollar weeds can flourish.
How Much water is the right amount?
The University of Florida, Cooperative Extension Program has done research to find out the right amount of water for your lawn. They recommend ¾ to 1 ½ inches of water per week. Even in the hottest days of summer with no rain, your lawn doesn't need any more than that. They also recommend water twice a week. If you want to water at the maximum rate of 1 ½ inches per week and you water twice a week, you would use ¾ inch each time you water.
How to Be Smarter than your Sprinkler System?
It easy to figure out how to get your sprinkler system to put out ¾ inch of water.
Use a rain gauge, or use a ruler and any flat-bottomed container heavy enough that it won’t get knocked over by the falling water. You can use coffee mugs or open top cans, such as a tuna fish can.
Put the rain gauge or other container out in the middle of the sprinkler spray area. Make sure to put it in the middle of the spray area of one spray head instead of at the edge. If there is more than one kind of spray head, test the kind that you have the most of. You can use more than one container if you want to be scientific.
Write down the time that you start the sprinkler.
Check the water depth in the rain gauge or container every ten minutes or so until the sprinkler has watered ¾ inch of water.
Write down the ending time. Figure out how many minutes you should water.
If you have an automatic timer on your sprinkler, set the timer for that many minutes.
If you have an automatic timer with more than one zone, do this test for each zone.