Media Release

New County Jail Water Reduction Project

Friday, July 25, 2008 1:00 AM
5:00 p.m.
ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - The Alachua County Administrative Services Department and the Alachua County Sheriff's Office invite all media to a demonstration and discussion of the newly installed ICON Water Reduction System at the Alachua County Jail.  The event will take place at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, July 29 in the 2nd floor conference room of the Alachua County Jail, 3333 NE 39th Ave, Gainesville, FL.
The newly installed ICON Water Reduction System includes:
  • Installation of waterless urinals to reduce water usage and maintenance cost
  • Replacement of existing 3.5 gallons-per-flush pneumatically controlled toilets with new electronically controlled 1.6 gallons-per-flush toilets containing security lock out controls
  • Replacement of controls and valves for lavatories and showers throughout the facility with tamper resistant timer controls that automatically perform shut off functions
The water reduction project was initiated by the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners when it adopted a County-wide Energy Reduction and Water Conservation Program in 2002.  The County's Support Service Group (SSG) headed by Alachua County Administrative Services Director Betty Baker lead the project and recommended to County Manager Randall H. Reid that staff submit this initiative to the Board for consideration. On May 13, 2008, the Commission approved a contract with Florida Power and Light and directed staff to accelerate the implementation of a major water conservation project at the County Jail.
This project is one of several water reduction initiatives approved by the Board designed to curb water usage in County facilities. Based on historical data, the jail is using an average of approximately 36 million gallons of water per year, costing nearly $230,000 for water and over $240,000 per year for natural gas to heat it. It is estimated that the ICON Water Reduction System will conserve between 16 and 17 million gallons of water per year, lowering utility bills by over $109,000 per year.
Charley Balanis, Alachua County's Energy Management Specialist, commented, "The primary goal of this project is to reduce the consumption of water supplying a jail population varying between 900 and 1000 inmates. In addition, the County is expanding the jail by adding a 168-bed barrack facility, and because of this GRU assessed upgrading the existing sewer lift station to support the addition. However, the reduction in water consumption brought on by installing the ICON System will possibly eliminate the need to install a sewer lift station that could have cost the County an additional $275,000 on top of the $5.4 million barrack project."
Charlie Jackson, Alachua County Facilities Manager stated, "What's good for the environment is also good for the bottom line."
If any accommodations are needed for persons with disabilities, please contact the Equal Opportunity Office at 352-374-5275 or 352-374-5284 TDD.
For more information, please contact the Alachua County Facilities Division at 352-374-5229.


  • Mark Sexton
  • Communications & Legislative Affairs Director
  • Phone: 352-374-5204
  • Cell: 352-283-2317

If you have a disability and need an accommodation in order to participate in a County program, service or public meeting, please contact the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office at 352-374-5275 at least 2 business days prior to the event. TTY users please call 711 (Florida Relay Service).