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WHAT IS MY WATER SOURCE?

Have you ever wondered where your water comes from? 

 

The Villages has made three major innovations in alternate water resource development over the last 40 years. Our goal is to continually decrease our community's impact on our surface rivers, lakes, wetlands, and other natural waterbodies. 

How does this affect you?

 

Depending on your district, you may have one of three water source combinations. Your indoor water and the hose bib attached to your house is always potable, and may come from the Upper or Lower Floridan Aquifer. Your yard irrigation, however, may or may not be potable - which is especially important to know if you wish to grow food in your yard! Below are some illustrative snapshots of the three innovations, where they are found, and how they generally operate.

Fun Fact: 

No matter where you are in The Villages,

all of your outgoing household water is treated and reused for irrigation!

What is an "Alternative Water Supply"?

An alternative water supply simply means a "nontraditional source of water". This can mean the reuse of treated wastewater, desalinating saltwater, or utilizing the Lower Floridan Aquifer. Let's review the Traditional and Alternative Water Sources available in The Villages:

Traditionally, developments in the State of Florida use Upper Floridan Aquifer groundwater. As can be seen in the illustrations below, the Upper Floridan is closer to the surface and so is easier and cheaper to reach for groundwater wells. The average well depth is only 250 feet deep! The separating soil layer between the surface and the Upper Floridan is also very porous. This creates a direct interaction and correlation between the aquifer level and surface water body levels. The less we use from this source, the healthier our surface waterbodies will be! 

Ready to Learn More?

Below are detailed explanations of the three major innovations The Villages has made in the development of alternative water supplies. Read straight through to see how the progression occurred, or jump straight to your District!

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District 1-4 & Lake County

VCSA and LSSA Utility Areas

16% Alternative Water Use

The original development area of The Villages is located in the Village Center Service Area (VCSA) utility district. Originally, Upper Floridan groundwater was used for all indoor, outdoor, golf, and roadway needs. This system was later retrofitted, and now utilizes a combination of Lower Floridan, stormwater, and reclaimed water for some of the roadways and golf courses.

The next phase of development, in the Little Sumter Service Area (LSSA) utility, uses a combination of stormwater and reclaimed water for recreations areas, roadways, and golf courses. Lower Floridan groundwater acts as a backup source for roadways and golf courses, but not for recreation areas.

 

Residential and commercial areas in both utilities use potable Upper Floridan groundwater for all indoor and outdoor use.

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District 5-11

NSU/VWCA and CSU/SWCA Utility Areas

69% Alternative Water Use

Beginning on the south side of CR 466, indoor and outdoor water was split into two systems. North Sumter County Utility Dependent District (NSCUDD), comprised of two potable and two non-potable utility systems, services all utility accounts in District 5 through 11. 

This area was the first instance of Lower Floridan groundwater well development. Some of the potable demand is fulfilled with these lower wells. Whereas an Upper Floridan well averages 250 feet deep, the Lower Floridan wells drop to 1,000 feet or more. Lower Floridan is considered an alternate source due to its non-impact on surface waters, and because it is not a commonly used source for Florida development.

This was also the first iteration of a 100% alternative source irrigation system. Residential, commercial, and urban landscape irrigation is fulfilled primarily by stormwater collected in the intricate basin system throughout the Districts. During low rainfall periods, the system is supplemented by Lower Floridan groundwater. There are no Upper Floridan wells connected to this irrigation system.

Going a step further, all golf courses in the NSCUDD area are irrigated primarily with reclaim water. Through an inter-utility agreement, NSCUDD is able to receive excess reclaim from the City of Wildwood to supplement The Villages supply. When that is not enough to meet demand, Lower Floridan wells provide supplementary support. Stormwater and Upper Floridan groundwater are not used for golf in this area.

 

Fun Fact:

Reclaim water tends to be higher in Nitrogen,

which greatly benefits turf grass health and recovery time!

WUDD District 12-14.png
District 12-14

SSU and SEWWCA/FWCA Utility Areas

97% Alternative Water Use

The dual water system design continued south of SR 44. Wildwood Utility Dependent District (WUDD) is comprised of one potable and two non-potable utility systems, and services all utility accounts in District 12 through 14. 

In this area, Lower Floridan groundwater well development increased to service all potable demand. There are no Upper Floridan wells in use for potable needs here, making this the first 100% alternative source potable system in The Villages.

Continuing the trend of improvement and innovation, this is the first irrigation utility system in which reclaim water was used for residential, commercial, and urban landscape demand. As demonstrated above, stormwater is collected in higher elevation basins, and fed down to lower basins to combine with reclaim water. This mixed water is then pumped back out to service all irrigation needs, including golf. 

 

Similar to NSCUDD, WUDD receives excess reclaim from the City of Leesburg to supplement The Villages supply. Periods of low rainfall and reclaim are supplemented by mostly Lower Floridan groundwater. Due to a few previously developed Upper Floridan wells, this irrigation system is not quite 100% alternatively sourced. It is very close however!

Gardening Tip:

If you are growing food in your garden, it is recommended you irrigate these plants with water from the hose bib on your house. This faucet is supplied with potable water. While The Villages reclaim water is treated to safe levels for incidental contact, it is not recommended for use on edible fruits, veggies, and other food-intended plants.

GPU/GPWCA and Middleton Utility Areas

100% Alternative Water Use

District 15 & Middleton

The newest area of development has continued expanding the third phase of innovation. Gibson Place Utility (GPU, potable) and Gibson Place Water Conservation Authority (GPWCA, irrigation) currently service District 15 and Eastport Town Square. Middleton Utility (MU, potable) and Middleton Water Conservation Authority (MWCA, irrigation) service the young family development, Middleton Downtown, and Middleton Buffalo Campus.

In both potable utilities, all demand is met with exclusively Lower Floridan groundwater wells. GPU and MU are the second and third 100% alternative water source potable utilities in The Villages.

The irrigation utilities are supplied by the stormwater and reclaim water basin system, and service all residential, commercial, urban landscape, and golf demand. GPWCA can receive excess reclaim water from both SEWWCA and the City of Wildwood as needed to supplement low rainfall and reclaim supply. GPWCA and MWCA are the second and third 100% alternative water source irrigation utilities in The Villages.

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Where Do I Learn More?

Thank you for taking the time to learn about your water system! If you have more questions, The Villages offers many opportunities to speak with and learn from experts in our community. Check out the Events and Classes tab for regularly occurring opportunities. Below are a few recommended workshops to get you started:

WISER Lawns & Landscaping - FREE, no registration required

Designed for new residents or residents who want to familiarize themselves with Florida-friendly landscaping and irrigation habits. You will be walked through responsible irrigation use, how to operate your irrigation controller, healthy fertilization and pest control practices, and more! 

Happens - the third Tuesday of every month, at Colony Recreation at 9am and Rohan Recreation at 1pm.

Resident Academy - FREE, registration required

This is a half-day seminar on all things District, with presentations from Golf, Recreation, Fire Services, Community Watch, Finance, and more. Vikus Water, the utility engineering firm for The Villages, gives a presentation on the general utility systems during this seminar. There is also an opportunity to sign up for a tour of a wastewater treatment plant!

Happens -  quarterly, announced in The Villages Daily Sun and on DistrictGov.org

Register At - DistrictGov.org or with District Customer Service (352-750-0000)

Government Day - FREE, no registration required

This is an all-day expo for all things Villages government! Offers opportunities to speak with representatives from most District departments, Villages Fire Services, and Vikus Water, the utility engineering firm for The Villages.

Happens - annually in the fall, announced in The Villages Daily Sun and on DistrictGov.org

Water Matters - FREE, no registration required

This is a new annual Square Event, offering presentations and educational booths on all things water in The Villages. Participants come from water authorities and utility contractors all over The Villages. These include Southwest Florida Water Management District, UF IFAS - Sumter County Extension Office, Jacobs (utility maintenance and operations), Vikus Water (utility engineer), District Utilities (customer service), and more!

Happens - annually on Earth Day Saturday in April

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