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Florida Water Star Technical Manual

Irrigation system criteria

General design

Turf grass and landscape bed separation


Turf grass and landscape beds do not have the same watering and maintenance requirements. When turf grass and landscape beds are planted in the same irrigation zone or intermixed within a zone, it can be difficult to apply irrigation efficiently.

Florida Water Star encourages irrigation separated by hydrozone, which is a distinct group of plants with similar water needs and climatic requirements. Additionally, the program encourages the design and installation of sustainable landscapes that are able to survive with minimal irrigation.

The following figure shows an example of multiple hydrozones within a landscape. These hydrozones contain plants with similar moisture and maintenance requirements. In this example, a separate zone valve should irrigate each zone.

Hydrozones Area 1 Area 1 Area 2 Area 2 Area 3 Area 3 Area 4 Area 5
Requirements and certification

Irrigation zones for turf grass and landscape beds are separate.







For new construction (Florida Water Star Silver, Gold, Commercial/Institutional and Community), this efficiency practice disallows irrigation of turf grass and landscape beds in the same irrigation zone.

Separation of zone irrigation types must be clearly reflected in designs, and Inspectors should field-verify the zone separation by testing the operation of all zones.

Program tip

Grouping seemingly dissimilar plants together is sometimes preferable to the alternative. For instance, turf grass watering requirements might be more similar to a vegetable garden than a landscaped bed with shrubs. In addition, it might be preferable to install bubblers that irrigate large-caliper trees in turf grass zones.

Inspectors are responsible for evaluating these types of situations to determine the most water-conserving strategy and should contact the administrator for final determination.

St. Johns River Water Management District
4049 Reid Street, Palatka, FL 32177