'Doing the rain dance:' Hot and dry conditions to blame for irrigation issues in St. Johns County

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — Southern Duval and St. Johns County homeowners have been plagued for weeks with thirsty lawns and irrigation issues caused by a lack of reclaimed water for irrigation.


But local officials believe relief is hopefully only a day or so away.

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Kevin Soistman told Action News Jax low water pressure has been preventing his sprinkler system from starting up, leading to dead patches on his Nocatee yard.

“None of the sprinkler heads are coming up,” said Soistman.

Larry Miller, Assistant Director of Operations for St. Johns County Utilities, explained the problem is a lack of reclaimed water due to high temps and no rain.

“And when you couple that with the dry conditions, you have more folks irrigating more often and you have folks irrigating for long periods of time. So, it really just stresses out the system,” said Miller.

ORIGINAL STORY: JEA notifies customers in St. Johns County, southern part of Duval of low reclaimed water pressure

And while Miller said the water infrastructure in the county is effectively keeping up with the booming population growth St. Johns has seen in recent years, JEA tells us it does have projects in the works to ensure the county is able to keep up with increased demands on the water system.

A 4 million gallon-a-day reclamation facility serving eTown and Nocatee is set for completion in 2025, along with a new reclaim booster serving RiverTown.

Additionally, a Nocatee repump facility is coming in 2027 and an expansion to the Arlington East Water Reclamation Facility is slated for completion in 2028.

In the short-term Miller predicts rain expected throughout this week should get things back to normal.

“That is the hope. We’ve been doing the rain dance here for several weeks now,” said Miller.

And like Miller, Soistman is also praying for rain.

“Before the HOA comes after everybody’s lawns for dying,” said Soistman.

Miller said short of getting some much-needed rain, homeowners can help reduce strain on the water system by avoiding running their sprinkler systems during the peak hours of 4 AM to 8 AM.

Running your system in the evening or overnight can help increase your chances of getting adequate water pressure.

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