St. Pete giving away free rain sensors

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Just one call can save you a lot of money and won’t cost you a dime. St. Pete leaders want you to conserve more water, and they’re offering to install free rain sensors on your irrigation system to help. 

Using a rain sensor in conjunction with your irrigation system is not only required across Florida, but it can also mean big savings for homeowners. 

St. Pete leaders estimate it can make a sizable dent in your potable water bill, which is important because more than 40 percent of your water bill goes to irrigation, unless you have a well or use reclaimed water. 

The city mounts the sensors on a roof or fence and they automatically alert your irrigation system to turn off when your area gets a certain amount of rain. 

Sabrina Dalla Valle uses the sensor in conjunction with a lot of other methods to conserve water. She planted drought resistant flowers and collects about 100 gallons of rain water in barrels.  

“My father used to tell me water is like gold. So we never, ever let the water run,” Dalla Valle explained.

It’s an idea that’s stuck with her for years, and has come in handy during this record-breaking drought and once a week irrigation restrictions. 

St. Petersburg's Water Resources Department hopes more homeowners catch on to her “water is gold” mentality. 

They’re even offering to save you the cost of time, labor and materials by installing the free rain sensors.

Chris Claus, with the city's conservation team adds, "Our installations have become very popular over the years and very popular now during the drought.”

City workers can also inspect your sprinklers to make sure your getting your money’s worth.

“We'll go over your sprinkler system, zone by zone and sprinkler by sprinkler and look at how efficiently the water is being applied,” Claus said.

All you have to do to get one of the sensors, is fill out one quick application here: http://www.stpete.org/water/water_conservation/docs/SensSprinklingApplication2016.pdf

Several other counties and cities in our area have similar programs— you can check with your area’s water resources department. 

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