The 14th Street Townhomes, a 36-unit Pompano Beach condominium built in 1991, doesn’t have a vast expanse of grass. It occupies less than five acres of land, yet in 2008 it began saving 5,000 to 10,000 gallons of drinking water a year by irrigating its modest lawn with reclaimed water.
“We were the first condominium in Florida to receive grant funds for such a project,” says association president Nick A. Damasceno. The project cost $9,194, of which the grant from the South Florida Water Management District covered $3,677.95. The association paid the difference.
“After the pipeline was completed, other properties along the 14th Street Causeway between Federal Highway and the Intracoastal Waterway (a distance of about six-tenths of a mile) also hooked up to the pipeline and began using reclaimed water,” Damasceno says.
In 2009, the association received another grant from the SFWMD for plumbing retrofits, installing low-volume toilets that use only nine-tenths of a gallon per flush, low-flow aerators on the sink faucets, and low-flow shower heads.
The total cost was $30,573.55, of which the grant paid $15,286. The association covered the remainder, including $4,400 in voluntary contributions of $50 per toilet from the owners. “It wasn’t a special assessment because it wasn’t mandatory, but everyone contributed,” Damasceno explains.