News in Brief...

Sebring Homeowners Get Irrigation Recommendations

The District’s Peace River Basin Board partnered with the Highlands Soil and Water Conservation District to help homeowners improve the efficiency of their irrigation systems.

The pilot project brought a mobile irrigation lab to homeowners residing in the city of Sebring. The lab is evaluating residential irrigation systems and developing customized recommendations on irrigation equipment, management practices, Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ and irrigation schedules. Irrigation systems that didn’t have an automatic shutoff device were provided with the device and installation. The total potential water savings from the program is estimated to be 8,400 gallons per day.

Master gardeners from the Highlands County Extension office and Earth Team volunteers from the Natural Resources Conservation Service are working alongside U.S. Environmental Protection Agency WaterSense–certified irrigation system auditors to evaluate the irrigation systems.

The $10,850 program was funded by the Peace River Basin Board and the Highlands Soil and Water Conservation District.

Florida Water Star℠ Homes Win Regional Awards

Three Florida Water Star℠ Gold (FWSG) homes won Aurora Awards for their water- saving features at the 2010 Southeast Building Conference in Orlando.

The “Coffee Pot” residence in St. Petersburg won a Grand Aurora Award in the Best Water-Wise Home category. The property is located on Snell Isle and was FWSG-certified in 2009. The home also won Grand Aurora Awards in the Kitchen and Green Construction categories as well as Aurora Awards for homes in the $1,000,001–$2,000,000 New Construction category for Solar Energy Home, Custom Home (One of a Kind) and Energy-Efficient Home.

Glencairn Cottages, the first FWSG-certified residence, won an Aurora Award in the Energy-Efficient Home category. The neighborhood is a community of environmentally friendly homes near downtown Dunedin.

The “Go Green” home built by Hickman Builders in Polk County, certified FWSG in 2009, won an Aurora Award for Green Construction.

The prestigious Aurora Awards honor homebuilders throughout the southeastern United States region. The competition is open to builders, architects, interior designers, landscape architects and other homebuilding professionals.

Lakeland Has First Florida Water Star℠ Commercial Property

A Lakeland office is the first commercial property to receive a Florida Water Star℠ (FWS) certification from the District. The new commercial building was constructed to make it more energy-efficient and water-conserving.

Kyra InfoTech Inc. is a global information technology consulting, project outsourcing and staffing organization.

FWS is a voluntary certification program for builders, developers and homeowners. It encourages water efficiency in appliances, plumbing fixtures, irrigation systems and landscapes.

In addition to conventional water-saving features, the site includes an aerobic septic system, which allows the use of treated wastewater for irrigation.