Why is My Water Usage So High?
The two most common reasons for high water consumption are leaks and irrigation, in fact approximately 30% to 50% of the water used by a household is used outside (check out the rebates and incentives page for irrigation help) . Once water passes through the water meter, the homeowner becomes responsible for the water usage. The City has no way of knowing specifically how that water was consumed, whether in your home or outside in your yard. Other potential sources of high consumption include: pressure washer cleaning, filling a pool, washing vehicles, laundry loads, long showers, new sod or plants. Check out the "Conservation Tips" section for ways to save water.
Why is saving water important for Lakeland?
Water conservation is necessary for Lakeland to meet its future water needs. Water conservation may only come to mind during a drought, but using water efficiently year round, even during wet times, means there will be more water available during those dry spells.
Water Conservation Benefits:
- More can share a limited water supply
- Far less expensive than treating lake or sea water (keeps water rates down)
- Saves money for anyone who puts it into practice
What about the lake water?
We have abundant water in the lakes here in Lakeland, but our lake water supports important ecological resources and natural beauty that we don’t want to impact or lose. The amount of lake water available is unreliable since it depends on the climate.
Lake water is also much more expensive to treat than groundwater because of its vulnerabilities to pollution and evaporation.
Lakeland gets its water from the Upper Floridan Aquifer, which is a body of very clean water deep underground. This groundwater is replaced by the rain at a very slow rate. Projections show that at the current rate of use, the aquifer will not meet our water needs through 2035, so it is very important that we do as much as possible to cut back on the water that we use. Because of this water shortage the Southwest Florida Water Management District created the year-round lawn watering restrictions of only two days per week (see 'Ways You Can Help Our Water Supply' for details). These restrictions are designed to help make our water supply last.
Over-pumping the aquifer can lead to:
- Declining water availability for general health and fire protection
- Salt water contaminating the fresh water aquifer
- Sink holes
Ways You Can Help Conserve Our Water Supply
- Please observe the mandatory year-round watering schedule:
- Even Addresses: Thursday and Sunday only - Before 10am or after 4pm (but not both)
- Odd Addresses: Wednesdays and Saturdays only - Before 10am or after 4pm (but not both)
- Water in the morning or evening to minimize evaporation and disease
- Remember disease and yellowing occur when applying too much water to grass
- Check irrigation times and rain sensors every 6 months
- Replace grass with drought resistant ground cover, shrubs and trees- these plants require little to no watering or maintenance (See Florida Friendly Landscaping)
- Hand water grass and plants only when needed, instead of using an irrigation system
- Replace toilets manufactured before 1994- New toilet models use significantly less water (Check out the current rebate program for up to a $100 rebate)
- Check for leaks under the sink or other water-flow areas
Conserve water & potentially save money!
The City of Lakeland, along with other member governments within the Polk Regional Water Cooperative (PRWC) area, has partnered with the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) to offer customers several water saving programs and rebates. We know how important of a role the groundwater supply plays in our everyday lives and understand that it is not an unlimited resource. By helping our customers save water, we can potentially reduce our impacts on the regional water supply as well as protect Lakeland's beautiful ecosystems we all love. Please check out the Rebates and Incentives tab for more information on these programs.
Click the Water Footpring Calulator logo below to find out what your water footprint is!
Always Call Before You Dig
Call 811 from anywhere in Florida two full business days before digging, and your call will be routed to us. Tell the operator where you're planning to dig, what type of work you will be doing and your affected local utility companies will be notified about your intent to dig. In a couple days, they'll send a locator to mark the approximate location of underground lines, pipes and cables in your yard, so you'll know what's below - and be able to dig safely.
Click Here for more Information from Sunshine811.
Safely Dispose of Unwanted Medication
The City of Lakeland Water Department would like to ask citizens not to flush unwanted prescription medications down the toilet because flushing medications leads to water pollution.
Sewage treatment plants are currently not designed to remove medication from the wastewater, so the chemicals end up in our waterways, which can have a negative impact on the water quality and on the wildlife that depend on that water.
You can safely get rid of unwanted medications by using the secure prescription drop box located in the Lakeland Police Department lobby.
For More Information:
How To Dispose of Wet Wipes
Most wet wipes say that they are flushable, but we ask that they please be disposed of in the garbage. Wet wipes do not break down like toilet paper does, which can cause blockages and other potentially expensive problems in homes and at the wastewater treatment plants.
For more information:
Don't Put Grease Down the Sink
The City of Lakeland initially developed a grease management policy in 1995 to address a growing number of sanitary sewer overflows caused by grease blockages through the City's wastewater collection system. Sanitary sewer overflows pose a risk to the environment and to human health. There are currently grease interceptors required for all nonresidential establishments that have the potential to discharge wastewater containing fats, oils, or grease. However, they are not currently installed in residential homes and therefore when cooking grease is dumped down the drain, it goes directly into our wastewater system causing blockages and many issues.
How can you dispose of fats, oils, or grease? Check out our new C.O.R.E. program here!
- Place in a sealed container after cooling. Label the container "Cooking Oil-Not for Recycling" and dispose with regular garbage.
- Let it harden and dispose of it in the garbage.
- Use paper towels to wipe residual grease or oil off of dishes, pots, and pans before washing.