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Water Recycling on Our Farm

May 6th, 2022

Working with nature everyday means we’re often in touch with the ways our actions affect the environment around us. From watching our bee population flourish when creating a pollinator friendly environment to improving the health of our magnolia trees by using natural pesticides and compost. 

When we learned that the main source of Florida’s drinking water, the Floridan Aquifer, is draining more quickly than our state’s water consumption can keep up with, we knew we had to do something. As a farm, we used to go through millions of gallons of water each year to keep our magnolia trees thriving. 

And when we started digging into our water use and our well records, we saw that many of the wells on our farm go down into the Floridan Aquifer. Since this is not only the main source of drinking water for the state of Florida, but also the source of many fresh water springs in the area, we wanted to find a way to stop relying on this water source. 

That’s when we decided to look into water recycling. Agriculture accounts for 75% of all water used around the world so many people have begun looking into the benefits of agricultural water reuse. 

Recycled water is virtually 100% recyclable, which means that it’s a highly efficient recycling process. Using recycled water is also a great choice for our farm because it contains nitrogen, phosphorus and other agricultural nutrients. This means it’s not only great for the environment, but a better source of water for our trees. 

So 18 months ago, we started digging our water recycling pond. Our pond is 15 feet deep and completely filled with fresh water. And right next door we have our 100 acre magnolia grove. There we installed drain tile so that all the water our magnolia trees don’t absorb will run off into this pond to be used again. 

And just with this change we will save over one billion gallons of water over the next twenty years. That is the same amount of water that 10,000 families will use over the course of a year. 

Besides the obvious benefits of saving water, this water recycling project will: 

  • Improve and sustain wetlands’ wildlife and aquatic habitats.
  • Reduce pollution as our run-off water will go back into our pond instead of the environment. 
  • Save energy because since our water source is groundwater, the energy the pump uses to get the water to the surface only increases with time. 

If you’re looking for ways to save water in your own home, here are a few easy ways:

  • Turn off the faucet in between cleaning dishes and brushing your teeth. 
  • Reduce meat consumption. (One burger uses the same amount of water as 37 showers!) 
  • Only run the washing machine and dishwasher when you have a full load. 
  • Always fix leaks and running toilets. 
  • Try an eco-friendly, drought-tolerant lawn alternative like permeable paving or natural grasses. 

We always appreciate you following along on our journey to  being a more eco-friendly farm. We hope it inspires you to create more eco-friendly practices at home.

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