Monday December 7, 2015
The Starkey Ranch Welcome Center is the first community information center in the state to earn the Florida Water Star certification, a voluntary program designed to increase water efficiency in landscapes, irrigation, appliances and plumbing fixtures. It is one of only 18 commercial buildings statewide to earn the certification, and the second in Pasco County, along with St. Leo University School of Business.
Inside the Welcome Center, reinforced water supply lines, low-flow toilets, high-efficiency faucets and an Energy Star® dishwater were installed. The landscape includes drought-tolerant plants that use less water, pesticides and herbicides.
Starkey Ranch worked with FWS-Accredited irrigation professionals Mark Ballenger and Gail Huff to design and install a water-efficient irrigation system composed primarily of low-volume or micro-irrigation. Only 20.5 inches of irrigation will be applied to the landscape annually, a 15% reduction compared to the permitted average of 29.6 inches.
During the community planning phase, Starkey Ranch development team members met with the Southwest Florida Water Management District to understand responsible standards in water usage and water quality management. This was part of a larger initiative at Starkey Ranch to provide residents with affordable reclaimed water for irrigation, and create a sustainable community using natural resources wisely and cost efficiently.