Reduce water use

1. Avoid unnecessary irrigation by ensuring your irrigation system is operated properly

  • It is important to remember not to irrigate just because it is your scheduled day. Irrigation systems should only be operated when the lawn begins to show signs of stress, some examples are listed below:
  • Lingering footprints or mower tracks
  • Grass blades or leaf blades begin to close lengthwise
  • The top few inches of soil feel dry
  • Turn your irrigation timer off after rainfall events and let your lawn “tell” you when you need to turn the timer back on (signs of stress are shown above).
  • If a particular zone begins to show signs of stress, set the irrigation system to only irrigate the stressed zone, don’t run the entire system.
  • Use a hose with an automatic shut off nozzle to water flower beds and dry spots.
  • Ensure rain sensors are operating properly (not clogged with debris, irrigation timer not set to “Bypass”, and sensor level set to ¼”).
  • Irrigation needs vary depending on the time of year, rainfall and soil conditions. Please refer to the WaterWise Irrigation Guide shown below.


* Recommended Zone Run Times are based on normal rainfall conditions.

During times of drought, you may need to supplement your irrigation system by hand watering using a hose with an automatic shut off nozzle.

During times of rainfall, you may be able to turn your irrigation system off for an extended period of time.

 The Water Management District may impose additional watering restrictions as part of a water shortage order that must be complied with.

2. Avoid unnecessary irrigation by making seasonal adjustments to your irrigation frequency

Time Frame Frequency
Dec – Feb Once every 2 weeks
Mar – Apr Once per week
May – June 15th Twice per weeka
June 15th – Sep Once per 2 weeksb
Oct - Nov Once per week


aUnless water restrictions are in place that limit irrigation to 1 day / week.
bDuring times of rainfall, you may be able to turn your irrigation system off for an extended period of time.

3. Reduce water use by installing more efficient irrigation system components

MP Rotator

Multi-stream irrigation head that replaces a spray nozzle

Low precipitation rate allows water to soak into the landscape to reduces runoff

Wind resistant

Helps prevent over or under watering

Hunter and Rainbird compatible

Maxi-jet Microspray

Low volume irrigation head on separate zones for trees and specimen plants (Crape Myrtle, Ligustrum, Magnolia, Drake Elm, Palms, etc.).

Low flow rates reduce runoff

Applies water only where needed

Hunter, Rainbird, and Toro compatible

Low Volume Drip Irrigation System

Used for landscape plants

Installed above the soil beneath the mulch layer

Only applicable where potable water is used for irrigation (i.e. North of CR 466)


Distributors of Irrigation System Components

Florida Irrigation Supply

Main Number- (407)995-9095

Summerfield- (352)245-4428

 Central Florida Pump and Supply

Leesburg- (352)315-1075

John Deere Landscapes

Leesburg- (352)748-6555

Main Number- (800)347-4272

4. Improve irrigation system control using a soil moisture sensor

  • Soil moisture sensors measure the water content of the soil and use the measurement to ensure that irrigation is not applied unnecessarily
  • Automatically modifies irrigation schedules based on soil moisture
  • 8 published studies including the University of Florida have demonstrated a 30%-80% water savings

Soil Moisture Sensor Distributors

Efficient Irrigation

Main Number- (214)683-4101


 Baseline Systems

Main Number- (866)294-5847



Main Number- (951)689-1701


5. Change turf and landscape materials to drought tolerant species

Turf grass change

  • Empire Zoysia
  • Bahia

 Florida Friendly / drought tolerant landscaping

  • Plants selected to suit a specific site will require minimal amounts of water, fertilizers and pesticides
  • Florida Friendly Plant Database -
  • Assistance provided by IFAS Sumter County Extension @ (352) 689-4668 Office located in the Sumter County Government Annex

6. Helpful contact information

The Villages Water Wisdom Information

Southwest Florida Water Management District

Tel: (800) 423-1476

St. John’s River Water Management District

Tel: (800) 451-7106

Waterwise Florida Landscapes

Irrigation System

Empire Zoysia Information

Florida Yards & Neighborhoods-The Villages Extension Office

Tel: (352) 689-4668

Florida Friendly Landscaping Principles

Vendors for Water Conservation Devices

Florida Native Plant Society

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