Irrigation Restrictions

New Irrigation Efficiency Design and Maintenance Code
New Irrigation Efficiency Design and Maintenance Code

On September 22, 2015 the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners adopted a new landscape irrigation efficiency code to promote water conservation and improve water quality. Click HERE to view the Code. The design standards take effect 4/1/2016.

Irrigation professionals installing or maintaining irrigation systems within Alachua County must register their business. Click HERE to register your business (you will have to create an account, as this is the portal for future irrigation system approvals).

All new irrigation systems installed in unincorporated Alachua County after 4/1/16 will require County approval, which includes a review fee and site plan. All systems will then go through an inspection process. The inspection fee is waived for irrigation professionals who are certified for self-inspection (see training below) or who hire a Florida Water Star Certifier to inspect the system.
Fees and site plans are waived for new construction that acheives Florida Water Star Certification. Learn more about this voluntary program for saving water HERE



If you are installing a new irrigation system (or modifying 50% of an existing system), you must comply with this ordinance. Please consult with staff at 352-264-6829 if you plan to install it yourself, as we will help you navigate the approval process.


The County has been co-hosting free training events to help irrigation professionals obtain Florida Water Star (FWS) Accredited Professional (AP) status for self-inspection certification. There are currently no trainings planned.  Trainings hosted in other areas are listed HERE.

For information on obtaining the State's voluntary Irrigation license, which also qualifies you for self-inspection, visit the Florida Irrigation Society page by clicking HERE

Forms and Resources

Application Portal- This site allows irrigation professionals to request approvals, pay fees, and set up inspections on-line. HERE is a document explaining how to use the portal.

Approval Form- This form can be filled out on-line through the application portal. If you want to apply and pay in person or by mail, print this form and return to Emily Rodriguez at 408 W University Ave, Suite 106, Gainesville, FL, 32601. 

Authorization to Access Property Form- This form must be filled out by the property owner and submitted with the Approval Form (either on-line through the application portal or with your paper application).

Self Inspection Checklist- This form lists all of the design standards required for passing EPD inspection and is a GREAT tool. For irrigation professionals qualified to self-inspect, it is recommended that you keep a copy of the signed checklist for your records, but this form is not currently required for submittal.

Sample Site Sketch- This sample illustrates what should be included in the irrigation site sketch. Providing a complete sketch expedites the review process.

Sample Calculations- Use this optional spreadsheet to tabulate required information. Copying and pasting the completed table on your irrigation sketch will speed up staff review.

Frequently Asked Questions- This document addresses common questions.

Click HERE to download a pamphlet explaining the code. 

Please contact Emily Rodriguez at 352-264-6809 or Stacie Greco at 352-264-6829 with questions or concerns.

Rainfall Shut Off Devices
Rainfall Shut Off Devices

Rain sensors, also called rain shut-off devices, are designed to interrupt the cycle of an automatic irrigation system controller when a specific amount of rainfall has occurred. They are small devices wired to the irrigation system controller and are mounted in an open area where they are exposed to rainfall. All automatic sprinkler systems  are required to have a functioning rain shut-off device. To learn how to test yours, visit the Alliance for Water Efficiency. 

To further reduce wasteful watering during rain events, consider installing an Evapotransportation Irrigation Controller (look for the waterSense label) or a Soil Moisture Sensor. Click the links below to view University of Florida videos on these advanced technologies:

Soil Moisture Sensor

Evapotransporation Irrigation Controler

Click HERE to see our television commercial!


Irrigation Restrictions
Irrigation Restrictions

Landscape irrigation can account for 60% of residential water use. Reducing irrigation is a great way to save money while leaving more water for our springs and future generations! Click here for our Irrigation brochure.

Restrictions Table.tif.png

Visit this interactive map to learn which day(s) you can irrigate!

  • Irrigation is restricted between 10 am and 4 pm (when evaporation is greatest).
  • Irrigation is limited to no more than one hour or 3/4 inch per irrigation zone per irrigation day.
  • Restrictions apply to wells, lakes, creeks, and city water.
  • Automatic irrigation systems must have a functioning shut off device which bypasses irrigation when there is sufficient moisture.
  • The following are exempt: vegetable gardens, hand watering with a spray nozzle with an automatic shut off, reclaimed water, athletic fields, micro-irrigation, and new landscapes for the first 60 days.
How are irrigation restrictions enforced?
How are irrigation restrictions enforced?

Alachua County has a cost share agreement with the St. Johns River Water Management District to implement irrigation restrictions. Inspections occur in high water use areas and violators receive a warning letter explaining the restrictions. Repeat offenders may receive a citation, but we hope everyone will comply to save more water! Staff also responds to irrigation complaints and appreciates the time, location of the potential violation, and a description of what was observed.

Report Irrigation Violations to 352-264-6800

Watering Restrictions are the law!
Watering Restrictions are the law!

On October 13th, 2009 the Board of County Commissioners adopted an Irrigation Conservation Standards and Management Practices Code for Alachua County.

For more information, please contact the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department at 352-264-6800.

Landscaping for Springs Protection
Landscaping for Springs Protection
Our Springs need our help! Water quality, clarity, and levels have been decreasing in many of our springs. The keys to protecting springs are:
  • Reducing Nutrients and
  • Reducing Water Use


Even if you don't live near a spring you may be affecting the springs because the water that soaks into the ground at your house may travel through underground tunnels and caves to springs miles away. Harmful fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides may be leached from your yard and end up in our springs. 

When we use water to irrigate our lawns, wash our clothes and dishes, etc.- we may be contributing to the lower water levels at nearby springs.
To protect springs, minimize the use of irrigation and chemicals. Learn more HERE.