Media Release

Water Usage Reduction at County Jail

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 1:00 AM
2:15 p.m.

ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - Alachua County Facilities in conjunction with  Florida Power and Light Energy Services (FPLES) and in cooperation with The Alachua County Sheriff''s Department,  recently completed the installation of an ICON Water Reduction System at the Alachua County Jail.  The water reduction project was initiated when the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners adopted a County wide Energy Reduction and Water Conservation Program in 2002.   The goal was to reduce countywide utilities consumption by approximately 30%.  The water reduction project started in July 2008, and was completed on September 1, 2008.  Thanks to the outstanding cooperation of Alachua County Jail Director Robert Woody and the Jail staff there were no interruptions of normal jail operations.

Previously, the jail used an average of about 36 million gallons of water per fiscal year for a cost of $230,000.  The reduction system should result in a savings of between 16 and 17 million gallons of water per fiscal year, resulting in a savings of over $109,000. The system is projected to pay for itself in about 8.5 years. 3.34 million gallons of water were saved in the first two months.

The County's Support Services Group, chaired by Administrative Support  Director Betty Baker, spearheaded this effort.  After extensive research, a recommendation was sent to County Manager Randall H. Reid suggesting that the County's Energy Management Team move forward with a proposal to cut water consumption at the County Jail.  Reid recommended the proposal to the Board of County Commissioners and on May 13, 2008.  The Commission approved a contract with FPLES and Reid directed staff to accelerate the implementation of this major water conservation project at the Alachua County Jail.

The newly installed ICON Water Reduction System includes:

  • The installation of waterless urinals to reduce water usage and maintenance cost.
  • Replacement of the 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.

 In a further cost saving development, the new water reduction system may save the County $275,000 for an upgrade to the existing sewer lift station that was thought to be needed due to the 168 bed jail expansion project. The reduction in water usage may make this upgrade unnecessary.

In speaking of the project Alachua County Facilities Manager Charlie Jackson said, "As government agencies countywide move to implement green solutions, the importance of energy and water performance contracting will only grow.  In the end, saving water is good for the environment and also good for the bottom line".

For more information, contact Charlie Jackson 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).