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Environmental Health - Water Programs - Irrigation Construction


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*Note: This page contains materials in the Portable Document Format (PDF). The free Adobe Acrobat Reader may be required to view these files.

Watering Practices

Saving water outdoors is simple and promotes healthier lawns and landscapes. A well-designed and properly maintained Florida landscape will stay beautiful with minimal care. Over 50% of the water used in Florida is for irrigation purposes. Approximately 65% of the water used for irrigation will evaporate before that day is over. Below is important information concerning landscape irrigation practices and water conservation.

Eastern Standard Time: Residential irrigation is limited to 4 p.m. to 10 a.m. Saturdays for odd-numbered addresses and Sundays for even-numbered addresses. Businesses may irrigate from 4 p.m. to 10 a.m. Tuesdays.

Daylight Saving Time: Residential irrigation is allowed at odd-numbered addresses from 4 p.m. to 10 a.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays and even-number addresses Thursdays and Sundays. Business may irrigate from 4 p.m. to 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Fridays.

Note: Daylight Saving Time begins the second Sunday in March and ends the first Sunday in November.

Irrigation is limited to no more than one hour and no more than three-quarters inch of water per zone per irrigation day.
Restrictions apply to all water sources, including private wells and pumps, ground or surface water, and water from public and private utilities.

New plantings may be watered any time for 30 days, then every other day for another 30 days. Keep the store receipt for proof of purchase.

Hand watering is allowed any time with an automatic shutoff on the hose.

Watering in of chemicals is allowed any time within 24 hours of application and may not exceed a quarter-inch of water.
Automatic landscape irrigation systems, regardless of the date of installation, must be equipped with functional rain-sensing devices or soil-moisture sensors.

Agricultural uses are exempt from the above, as long as they follow the agricultural water conservation requirements of the St. Johns River Water Management District.


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Irrigation System Permit Requirements

Property owners who wish to install, expand or substantially modify an irrigation system are required, in advance of such work, to obtain an irrigation permit from the Volusia County Health Department. Irrigation installation requirements are described in the following county ordinances:

We have developed an Irrigation Permitting Packet in order assist applicants.  It includes the application form, a Contractor/Owner Irrigation Self Certification Checklist and a site plan template. Please call our office at 386-274-0694 for more information.

A summary of site specific requirements is as follows:

  1. Automatic irrigation controllers, when utilized, shall contain a functional rain sensor device, capable of being set to one minute run times, and battery backup capability to retain programming in the event of a power failure;
  2. A rain sensor placed on a stationary structure, free and clear of any overhead obstructions and above the height of the sprinkler coverage;
  3. Equipment with check valves used in low-lying areas to prevent low head drainage;
  4. Backflow prevention methods and other provisions prescribed in section 74-42;
  5. Irrigation design with the appropriate uniformity for the type of plant being grown and for the type of soil;
  6. Irrigation system equipment installed as designed;
  7. Irrigation zones divided according to: available flow rate, vegetated groupings (i.e., turf, shrubs, native plants, etc.), sprinkler types (i.e., sprinklers with matching precipitation rates), and soil characteristics;
  8. Spray heads and rotors not mixed in same zone;
  9. Distribution equipment in a given zone having matched precipitation rates;
  10. Application rates that avoid runoff and permit uniform water infiltration into the soil, considering land slope, soil hydraulic properties, vegetative ground cover, and prevailing winds;
  11. A minimum separation of four inches between distribution equipment and pavement;
  12. A minimum separation of 12 inches between distribution equipment and buildings and other vertical structures;
  13. No direct spray onto walkways, buildings, roadways, and drives;
  14. Lawn spray patterns providing head to head coverage;
  15. Water conveyance systems with a flow velocity of five feet per second or less;
  16. Pipelines designed to provide the system with the appropriate pressure required for maximum irrigation uniformity;
  17. Pressure regulating heads; and
  18. A maintenance checklist provided to the property owner by the irrigation contractor accompanied by a recommended maintenance schedule, proper irrigation system settings according to season, recommendations for checking rain sensor device, filter cleaning recommendations and information on the current water restrictions.

Irrigation System Landscape requirements

  1. A high volume irrigation area shall not exceed 50 percent of the landscaped area.  Low or medium volume irrigation areas may be utilized in lieu of any high volume irrigation area.
  2. A medium volume irrigation area shall not exceed 25 percent of the landscaped area. However, the landscaped area may contain up to 75 percent medium volume irrigation area, if no high volume irrigation area is utilized on site.
  3. A low volume irrigation area may be utilized for an entire landscaped area with the exception of native vegetation areas regulated by section 50-373(b)(4).
  4. In the alternative to (1), (2), and (3) above, if 25 percent of the pre-existing native vegetation is retained on site, the remaining 75 percent of the landscaped area may be a high volume irrigation area. For all pre-existing native vegetation retained on a parcel:
    • No supplemental water shall be applied to the native vegetation area;
    • Only hand pruning of native vegetation is allowed;
    • Mechanical mowing or clearing is prohibited.

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Irrigation System License Requirements

No person may install or repair an irrigation system in Volusia County unless they possess a valid irrigation certificate of competency from the Department. The following persons are exempted from having to possess a certificate of competency:

  • Licensed Florida Water Well Contractors and Florida State Certified Pluming Contractors.
  • Florida State Registered Plumbing Contractors.
  • Property owners who personally perform construction, maintenance or repairs on an irrigation system that serves his or her owner-occupied single family residence.  

Below is a video presentation that highlights the importance of ensuring that homeowners seeking professional irrigation services hire a licensed irrigation contractor.

Irrigation Contractors Video
The Florida Department of Health in Volusia County urges residents to contact a licensed irrigation contractor to have their system installed.

Date released: March 30, 2009
Running Time: 2 minutes 52 seconds
Author: Volusia County Health Department
Series Name: Volusia Magazine


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Irrigation System Contractor Requirements

Irrigation contractors should be familiar with irrigation related ordinances and established watering hours:

Irrigation certificates of competency are issued on a biennial basis and expire on September 30 of each odd-numbered year.  Twelve (12) continuing education units are required to maintain a certificate of competency during each biennial period. CEU course work or training is subject to the approval of the Department and prior approval is recommended in order to ensure you do not attend a training session that the Department is unable to approve for CEU credit.

Upcoming CEU Approved Training

When workshops are scheduled we will post that information here.


Irrigation Competency Card Packet and Checklist

To obtain an irrigation contractor competency card, here is a checklist to follow:

  1. Download the Competency Card Packet. The application form is in this packet.
  2. Pay a non-refundable application fee.
  3. Submit with application the following information:
    • Notarized letter from previous employers verifying at least 2 years of experience in working with the installation and servicing of irrigation systems.
    • Photocopy of Driver's License.
  4. We then will sign off as a sponsor so that you can take the Irrigation Installation Exam and the Business and Law Exam . The exams require a passing score of at least 75% on each exam. Exam results are faxed to us. We will then contact you or you may contact us at 386-822-6250 ext. 5436 to schedule a time to come in and complete the competency card process. At this time you will need the following items:
    • Certificate of Insurance (Liability/Property Damage/Worker's Comp) with Volusia County Health Department listed as the certificate holder. (A Work Comp Exemption Certificate can replace Worker's Comp Insurance for companies with no employees).
    • A photo will also be taken of you - this photo will be applied to the competency ID card you will be issued after meeting all the requirements.
    • Testing for Competency Card. The applicant shall submit to a written examination which shall be prepared, graded, and proctored by Thomson/Prometric to test the qualifications of the applicant to perform the installation and repair of pumps, pumping equipment, and irrigation systems in Volusia County. In order to be eligible for certification, the applicant shall obtain a passing grade of 75% or higher on the required examination and a passing grade of 75% or higher on the two hour Business and Law examination. The Prometric website address is www.prometric.com.

For more information or questions contact us at: 386-274-0692


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Individual Forms

Irrigation Ordinances

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Will the Health Dept. permit and inspect in the cities also? Yes. This ordinance applies to all areas of the county “Incorporated” or “Unincorporated.”
  2. How long will an approved permit be good for? 12 months.
  3. What is the time frame for scheduling an inspection? 24 hour notice.
  4. Is an inspection and approval by the health department required prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy by any building department? Yes.
  5. Is there a variance process? Yes there is an appeal process for any denied applications.
  6. Is there a "hotline" to report unlicensed or un-permitted activities? Yes you can call any of our three field offices.
  7. Can permits be applied for at any environmental health office?Yes, you can also apply by facsimile (fax) transmittal. if you are a competency card holder you can have a credit card on file and not have to come to the office to apply. Please contact the Engineering Division or one of the environmental health offices for further information. Our fax number is 386-736-5433 and our telephone number is (386) 822-6250 ext. 5436.
  8. What is required to schedule an inspection? A copy of the Self-Certification document, and a copy of the Irrigation "As Built" sketch at least 24 hours before desired inspection time.
  9. Who will be issuing the Certificate of Competency Card? The Volusia County Health Department Environmental Health division. For Certificate of Competency Card assistance, call (386) 822-6250 ext. 5436.
  10. What rotors and spray heads are currently approved to meet the water wise ordinance? The only manufacturing criteria is that sprayheads are required to be pressure regulating.
  11. How many inches away from the building foundation must the rotors and or spray heads be located? All rotors and spray heads must be at least 12 inches from the building foundation.
  12. Should all rotors and spray heads have head-to-head coverage? Yes.
  13. Is it ok to have some overspray on walks and driveways? No rotors or spray heads are allowed to spray over any impervious area, including sidewalks, driveways, decks, etc.
  14. Can I hook any type of automatic timing device to my irrigation system? No. All irrigation control devices must be able to schedule down to one minute run times.
  15. Should the property owner be given a copy of the As Built Sketch and the Self-Certification by the installer? Yes all these documents are required to be supplied by the installer as part of the installation process.
  16. Can I have Rotor type and Spray type heads on the same zone? No you cannot mix different types of sprayers on the same zone. All zones must have matched precipitation rates.

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Our Contact Information

Florida Department of Health in Volusia County
Environmental Health
1845 Holsonback Drive, Daytona Beach, FL 32117

Daytona area telephone number: 386-274-0692

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Page last updated: 01/10/14