What is better? Installing a separate water meter for landscape irrigation or providing your own irrigation from roof water collection in Key Biscayn?

Asked by Juliana Touma, Miami Beach, FL Fri Mar 15, 2013

An above ground concrete cistern with 12" thick walls is very simple to install especially since the KB building codes does not allow habitable space on the ground floor. This "box" used to store water from the roof by simple rain gutters can be the size of 12' wide x 12' wide x 7' tall and store 1,008 gallons of water!

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Antonio Vega…, Agent, Saint Cloud, FL
Fri Mar 15, 2013
Roof collection systems like you describe are a good idea in location with substantial amount of rain. I have read about similar systems that are actually buried in the garden, but a large cistern or reservoir built right under the home sounds like a winning proposition. Your expense will only be electric for the pump system.

Irrigation meter is the best option in locations with little rain, however in counties with water restriction like Polk in Central Florida The option of an irrigation system is not even available. So you will have to evaluate the cost of irrigation water per 1,000 gallons vs. cost of the electric pump...pump will be cheaper.

This is one of the articles I have seen about it > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEFEGuQJBmI

Good luck with your project. Was this answer helpful? If so please click on the "green thumbs up" or the "best answer".

Tony Vega
La Rosa Realty
1 vote
Roof collecting can be really helpful for different situations. My mom has her own primitive system in place for getting water from the gutters and roof. We were thinking of trying to extend the system to make it easier for her to move the water, but we never got around to it. Thinking about it, we probably should have used a pumped or something.
Flag Thu Dec 4, 2014
From my experience the cost of running the water pump is negligible. It doesn't even compare to the money that I would spend on irrigation water. If possible, I would highly recommend collecting your own rainwater. It will save your money, and it is environmentally responsible.

Flag Wed Oct 29, 2014
garypuntman, , Los Angeles, CA
Fri May 8, 2015
I'm not sure what is the better option for you. You should ask a contractor to see what they recommend. It's important to pick whatever is best for your home layout and yard. http://www.shenton.com.au/irrigation--bore-pumps-perth
0 votes
Jackson Will…, Home Buyer, Provo, UT
Fri Nov 21, 2014
It really just depends. There are positive things that can come from either option. You should talk to an irrigation technician and see what they would suggest for you. They would know what would work the best for your property and your setup. That's what I would do in that situation.
0 votes
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Fri Mar 15, 2013
You need to verify what the county and city codes allow.
Then comes that pesky HOA if applicable.
So, let's assume a green light.
Now, the real deal tipper is the local water supply. If the city/area water source is via a reverse osmosis process, you very likely have low cost access to reclaimed water for irrigation purposes. No pumps to run, just a Rainbird timer.
Finally, what do you intend to water?
Acres of St Augistine?
A back yard golf course?
Flowers and garden plot?
Native foliage?
The local County extension agent can provide or calculate the volume of water needed by these plants through the winter (during the summer a daily rain dump nearly an incch every day at 2 PM). You may find if you stick with native plants, you need only a barrel collection system.

Having 1,008 gallons of water on hand and add a manual pump, and you've got a real asset. It is very possible such an installation would need no pump what so ever for simple drip irrigation.
0 votes
Thanks for the response: the intentions would be to water grass, palms, and different types of hedges. In the past our Key Biscayne clients have installed those types of plants. I was also thinking that it could be possible to use some of the water to flush toilets? Have you ever used reclaimed water inside the house?
Flag Mon Mar 18, 2013
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