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Florida Water Star Technical Manual

Irrigation system criteria

General design

Sprinkler/emitter proximity to buildings


Requiring irrigation sprinklers and emitters to be installed away from buildings is intended to address potential problems. For example:

  • Florida’s climate is abundantly moist and adding moisture can create many problems in a built environment. These problems range from mold to termites and can be very costly relative to the benefit of having plants near a building.
  • Plants can grow to the point of reaching the building, creating the need for frequent landscape maintenance and increasing the difficulty of building maintenance. Locating plants away from buildings necessitates irrigation sprinklers and emitters to be located further from buildings.
Requirements and certification

Sprinklers and/or emitters are located a minimum of 2 feet from structures.







Sprinkler/emitter proximity to buildings

Any type of sprinkler or emitter must be a minimum of 2 feet away from an enclosed/​conditioned structure. Structures that apply to this requirement are any conditioned space and enclosed structures such as garages. In most cases, impervious structures such as porches and patios are exempt.

This prerequisite requires designs to specify, stating clearly, that all sprinklers/emitters are 2 feet from enclosed structures, which Florida Water Star Inspectors are to field-verify.

Program tip

The Florida Water Star landscape efficiency practice that acts in tandem with this irrigation requirement states:

Root balls are at least 2.5 feet on center from the foundation of a structure.

In combination, these efficiency practices allow for sprinklers/emitters to safely apply water away from structures and to adjacent plants.

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