Conservation


  • Why is saving water important for Lakeland?

    Download the Water Conservation Brochure


     Water Conservation

    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 droughts.

    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, and is vulnerable to pollution and evaporation.


    Water Shortages

    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 watering schedule:
      • Even Addresses: Thursday and Sunday only
      • Odd Addresses: Wednesdays and  Saturdays
    • Water in the morning or evening to minimize evaporation and disease.
    • 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.
    • Replace toilets installed before 1995. New toilet models use significantly less water. 
  • Toilet Rebate Program

    The City of Lakeland is currently offering up to $100 rebate to replace high-flow toilets using 3.5 gallons or more per flush  with 1.28 gallons per flush WaterSense® toilets.

    Participation will help Lakeland meet its water conservation goals and could save you water and money on your utility bill.


    Qualifications:

    • Active City of Lakeland Water Utility customer (Your water is purchased from the City of Lakeland)
    • Homes with private water wells DO NOT qualify for this program
    • Toilet being replaced is 3.5 gallons per flush or greater (If home was built before 1994, and the toilet has not been replaced since 1995, then toilets will qualify)
    • Old toilet(s) will NOT be re-installed at any location, and will be rendered unusable or disposed of
    • New toilet is a 1.28 gallons per flush WaterSense® labeled toilet
    • Limit 2 toilets per household for residential

    How to tell whether your toilet qualifies for the rebate:

    • If your home was built in or before 1989, and no one has installed new toilets since, then your toilets are high-flow and qualify.
    • If your home was built in or after 1995, or you purchased and installed new toilets in or after 1995, then your toilets are already low-flow and do not qualify.
    • If your home was built in 1990-1994, or if you installed toilets in those years, or you don’t know whether new toilets have been installed, look at the toilet to determine whether it’s high or low flow:
    • Look right behind the seat hinge on the bowl to see if there is a label with the “gpf” listed.
      • If the gpf is 3.5, 5, or 7, then your toilet is high-flow and qualifies.
      • If the gpf is 1.6 or 1.28 then your toilet is low-flow and does not qualify.
      • If there is no gpf listed, go to the next step.
    • Take the tank lid off and check the inside back of the toilet tank for the manufacture’s date stamp, which is usually stamped directly into the porcelain.
      • If the year is 1989 or before then your toilet qualifies.
      • If the year is 1990-1994, and there are no other marks on the toilet to indicate gallons per flush or gpf, then the toilet qualifies.
      • If the year is 1995 – present, then your toilet is low-flow and does not qualify.

     


    Participate

    To participate, please fill out the application here


    Questions

    If you have questions, contact:

    Daphne McCann
    City of Lakeland Water Utility Conservation Specialist
    daphne.mccann@lakelandgov.net
    863.834.6193

  • Conservation Kit for Lakeland Water Utilities Customers

    Participation in this program will help Lakeland meet its water conservation goals and could save you water and money on your utility bill.


    What's in the kit?

    The kit includes devices that could help you save water in your household and literature to provide even more ideas about saving water at home.


     Qualifications:

    • Active City of Lakeland Water Utility customer
    • Limit 1 Kit per household

    Participate

    To participate, please email the City of Lakeland Water Utility Conservation Specialist at daphne.mccann@lakelandgov.net 


    Questions

    If you have questions, contact:

    Daphne McCann
    City of Lakeland Water Utility Conservation Specialist
    daphne.mccann@lakelandgov.net
    863.834.6193

  • Conservation Tips for YOUR Home

    Download Our Tip Sheet


    Bathroom


    Install it:

    • Low-flow faucet or aerator
    • Low-flow showerhead
    • Low-flow toilet Dual flush toilet

    Do it:

    • Take showers that are five minutes or less.
    • Turn off the water in the shower after you wet yourself down and while you lather up, turn the water back on to rinse
    • Turn off the water while brushing teeth and shaving.
    • Avoid using hot water when cold water will do.
    • Use less water for bathing.
    • Close the drain first and then fill the tub only one-third full. The initial burst of cold water will be warmed by the hot water as the tub fills.
    • Flush less — remember the toilet is not an ashtray or wastebasket.

    Kitchen


    Install it:

    • Low-flow faucet or aerator
    • EnergyStar appliances

    Do it:

    • Collect kitchen scraps for compost
    • Recycle cans, glass, plastic, styrofoam, paper, foil, aerosol cans, appliances...almost anything! For a complete list of recyclables, click here.

    Laundry Room


    Install it:

    • EnergyStar washer and dryer
    • Low-flow faucet or aerator

    Outside Conservation Tips


    Install a Rain Barrel
    Collect rain water in a rain barrel or cistern to water plants. For more information on rain barrels, click here.

    Use a Compost Bin
    Recycle and reuse your indoor and outdoor waste. Reduce the amount of trash you are taking to the landfill. Composting is easy and beneficial. For more information on composting, click here

    Plant a Vegetable Garden
    Grow your own vegetables and water them with micro-irrigation and fertilize with your compost.

    Direct Rainwater Into a Rain Garden
    Direct rainwater from your roof into a low landscaped area in your yard. A rain garden reduces the runoff that leaves your yard.

    Install & Maintain a Florida-Friendly Yard
    Florida-Friendly Landscapes are cost-saving, efficient, environmentally friendly and beautiful. For more information, click here.

    Leave Grass Clippings on the Lawn
    Grass clippings don’t need to be collected, reduce waste and let the clippings break down to benefit your lawn.

    Pick Up After Your Pets
    Prevent bacteria from entering our waterways by picking up after your pets.

    Maintain a Healthy Waterfront
    Plant around your lake or pond, keep fertilizers away from the water and maintain native plants for a healthy waterfront.

    Direct Downspouts
    Allow runoff to soak into the ground by directing downspouts onto porous surfaces.


    Questions?


    Call City of Lakeland Water Utilities at 863.834.8316 or the UF/IFAS Extension Polk County Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ at 863.519.1047.

  • Where can I learn more about outdoor water savings?

    Workshop Calendar


    Join us for one of our FREE Lunch and Learn Workshops or attend any of the Florida Friendly Landscape program workshops.   

    Learn even more from the Polk Gardening blog!

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