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CHAPTER 77 - WATER QUALITY STANDARDS AND MANAGEMENT PRACTICES

Sec. 77.01. - Title of chapter.

This chapter shall be known and cited as the "Alachua County Water Quality Standards and Management Practices Code.

(Ord. No. 2018-05 , § 2, 1-23-18)

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Sec. 77.02. - Purpose and intent.

  1. The purpose of this chapter is the protection of public health, safety, welfare, and the environment through the regulation of the materials discharged into surface water, groundwater and stormwater management systems within incorporated and unincorporated Alachua County and through the protection of water quality throughout Alachua County, including the quality of groundwater, surface waters and wetlands.
  2. It is the intent of the regulations in this chapter that they be liberally construed so as to effectively carry out this purpose in the interest of the public health, safety and welfare. If the provisions of these regulations conflict with other Alachua County ordinances or regulations, the more stringent limitations or regulations shall govern or prevail to the extent of the conflict.

(Ord. No. 2018-05, § 2, 1-23-18 )

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Sec. 77.03. - Definitions.

Address means the house number of a physical location of a specific property. This includes "rural route" numbers but excludes post office box numbers. If a lot number in a mobile home park or similar community is used by the U.S. Postal Service to determine a delivery location, the lot number shall be the property's address. An "even numbered address" means an address ending in the numbers 0, 2, 4, 6, 8 or the letters A—M. An "odd numbered address" means an address ending in the numbers 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 or the letters N—Z.

Alachua County Stormwater Treatment Manual means the Alachua County Stormwater Treatment Manual (2018).

Alteration means any dredging, filling, excavation, construction of new structures, expansion of existing structures, installation of utilities, roads, personal wireless service facilities, stormwater management systems, septic tanks, bulkheading, land clearing, tree cutting, mechanized vegetation removal and the disposal of solid or liquid waste.

Application or apply means the actual physical deposit of fertilizer to turf or landscape plants.

Applicator means any person who applies fertilizer on turf and/or landscape plants in Alachua County.

Automatic irrigation system means an irrigation system designed to operate following a preset program entered into an automatic controller.

Best management practices (BMPs), for the purposes of Article III Stormwater Treatment Code, means the non-structural and structural practices described in the most recent edition of the Alachua County Stormwater Treatment Manual. Generally, best management practices means structural and non-structural control techniques used for a given set of site conditions that based on research, field-testing, and expert review, have been determined to be effective and practicable for improving water quality, preventing erosion and sedimentation, conserving water supplies and protecting natural resources. Best management practices include, but are not limited to, site planning, turf and landscape practices, structural stormwater management facilities, maintenance procedures, prohibitions of practices, spill and leak control, and other good housekeeping measures for pollution prevention. Best management practices may be implemented individually or as a combination of practices such as a stormwater treatment train.

Bubblers means water emission device that tends to bubble water directly to the ground or that throws water a short distance, about one foot, (300 millimeters) before water contacts the ground surface. Bubblers are typically used for establishing trees.

Commercial fertilizer applicator, except as provided in 482.1562(9) F.S., means any person who applies fertilizer for payment or other consideration to property not owned by the person or firm applying the fertilizer or the employer of the applicator.

Compost means a mixture of decaying organic matter, as from leaves and manure, used as an amendment to improve soil structure and provide nutrients. The composting process is largely the result of the activity of aerobic organisms. Compost reduces the need to fertilize because nutrients are supplied in a slow-release manner. Compost does not include material that have been modified by the addition of inorganic fertilizers.

Daylight Savings Time means the time during which clocks are set one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time.

Department means the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department.

Distribution equipment means the water emitters on irrigation systems, including but not limited to sprinklers, rotors, spray heads and micro-irrigation devices.

Eastern Standard Time means the standard time in the eastern U.S.; not Daylight Savings Time.

Excavation means the disturbance or removal of earth materials.

Fertilize, fertilizing, or fertilization means the act of applying fertilizer to turf, specialized turf, or landscape plant.

Fertilizer means any substance or mixture of substances that contains one or more recognized plant nutrients and promotes plant growth, or controls soil acidity or alkalinity, or provides other soil enrichment, or provides other corrective measures to the soil.

Florida-Friendly Landscape means a quality landscape that conserves water, protects the environment, is adaptable to local conditions, and is drought tolerant. The principles of such landscaping include planting the right plant in the right place, efficient watering, appropriate fertilization, mulching, attraction of wildlife, responsible management of yard pests, recycling yard waste, reduction of stormwater runoff, and waterfront protection. Additional components include practices such as landscape planning and design, soil analysis, the appropriate use of solid waste compost, minimizing the use of irrigation, and proper maintenance. [Ref. section 373.185 (1) Fla.Stat.]

Florida Water Star (SM) means a program for new residential and commercial construction that is intended to provide indoor and outdoor water efficient options and help prevent leaks.

Florida Water Star Irrigation and Landscape Accredited Professional means a landscape or irrigation professional who has successfully passed the Florida Water Star Accredited Professional exams for landscaping and irrigation and is currently in good standing with the program.

Groundwater means water in a saturated zone or stratum beneath the surface of land or water, whether or not it is flowing through known and definite channels.

Hazardous materials means those materials listed in section 353.26, "Materials regulated," of the Alachua County Hazardous Materials Management Code.

Head to head coverage means the spacing of sprinkler heads so that each sprinkler throws water to the adjacent sprinkler. This spacing must occur in all directions that the nozzle is throwing.

High volume irrigation means an irrigation system with a minimum flow rate per emitter of more than 30 gallons per hour ("GPH") or higher than 0.5 gallons per minute ("GPM"). High volume emitter flow rates are usually measured in GPM.

Institutional applicator means any person, other than a non-commercial or commercial applicator (unless such definitions also apply under the circumstances), that applies fertilizer for the purpose of maintaining turf and/or landscape plants. Institutional applicators shall include, but shall not be limited to, owners and managers of public lands, schools, parks, religious institutions, utilities, industrial or business sites and any residential properties maintained in condominium and/or common ownership.

Irrigation professional means any person installing or maintaining an irrigation system in Alachua County for payment.

Irrigation system means a set of components that may include the water source, water distribution network, control components, and other general irrigation equipment which has been installed to provide irrigation.

Landscape irrigation means the outside watering of plants in a landscape such as shrubbery, trees, lawns, grass, ground covers, plants, vines, gardens and other such flora that are situated in such diverse locations as residential areas, public, commercial, and industrial establishments, and public medians and rights-of-way. "Landscape irrigation" does not include agricultural crops, nursery plants, cemeteries, golf course greens, tees, fairways, primary roughs, and vegetation associated with recreational areas such as playgrounds, football, baseball and soccer fields.

Landscape plant means any native or exotic tree, shrub, or groundcover (excluding turf).

Landscaped area means the entire parcel less the building footprint, driveways, hardscapes such as decks and patios, and other non-planted areas. The county encourages leaving natural vegetation, however this is not considered landscaped area. Water features are included in the calculation of the landscaped area. Landscaped area includes Florida-Friendly landscaped areas.

Licensed irrigation professional means irrigation specialty contractors who obtain the irrigation specialty license from The Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board and maintain continuing education requirements.

Litter means any garbage, rubbish, trash, refuse, can, bottle, container, paper, tobacco product, tire, appliance, mechanical equipment or part, building or construction material, tool, machinery, wood, motor vehicle or motor vehicle part, vessel, aircraft, farm machinery or equipment, sludge from a waste treatment facility, water supply treatment plant, or air pollution control facility, or substance in any form resulting from domestic, industrial, commercial, mining, agricultural, or governmental operations.

Low impact design means an approach to land development and stormwater management that preserves and protects natural resource systems and water resources using various site planning and stormwater management approaches and technologies to simultaneously conserve and protect natural resource systems and to reduce the average annual stormwater pollutant loading discharged off-site. The approach uses site planning to minimize runoff and a suite of engineered small-scale hydrologic controls distributed throughout the site and integrated as a BMP treatment train to replicate the replicate the natural hydrologic functioning of the landscape through infiltrating, filtering, storing, evaporating, and detaining runoff close to its source.

Low maintenance zone means an area a minimum of ten feet wide adjacent to water courses which is planted and managed in order to minimize the need for fertilization, watering, mowing, etc.

Low volume irrigation means any emitter or sprinkler that applies less than 30 GPH or 0.5 GPM.

Matched precipitation means irrigation in which all of the sprinklers in a particular zone apply similar amounts of water to a given area.

Micro-irrigation means the frequent application of small quantities of water directly on or below the soil surface or plant root zone, usually as discrete drops, tiny streams, or miniature sprays through emitters placed along the water delivery pipes. Micro-irrigation encompasses a number of methods or concepts, including drip, subsurface, bubbler and micro-spray irrigation, previously known as trickle irrigation. Micro-irrigation is typically a form of low volume irrigation.

Minimal impact activity is an activity that will have no significant adverse impact on the resource. Such activities may include installation of navigational aids marked consistent with the requirements of Section 327.40, Florida Statutes; construction and maintenance of public or private nature trails not more than ten feet in width, and other similar activities.

Municipal separate storm sewer system or MS4 means a conveyance or system of conveyances like roads with stormwater systems, municipal streets, catch basins, curbs, gutters, ditches, constructed channels, or storm drains: (a) owned or operated by the United States, a state, city, town, county, special district, association, or other public body (created pursuant to state law) having jurisdiction over management and discharge of stormwater and which discharges to surface waters of the state; (b) designed or used for collecting or conveying stormwater; (c) which is not a combined sewer; and (d) which is not part of a publicly owned treatment works (POTW). POTW means any device or system used in the treatment of municipal sewage or industrial wastes of liquid nature which is owned by a "state" or "municipality." This definition includes sewers, pipes, or other conveyances only if they convey wastewater to a POTW providing treatment.

Non-residential landscape irrigation means the irrigation of landscape not included within the definition of "residential landscape irrigation," such as that associated with public, commercial and industrial property, including commercial or transient housing units, hotel and motel units, and public medians and rights-of-way.

NPDES means National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).

Off-site compensating treatment facilities means off-site stormwater treatment facilities used when on-site treatment is not sufficient to meet the required performance standards. The off-site compensating treatment facilities may be established by the private sector, the public sector, or as a private-public partnership.

Pasture means land used for livestock grazing that is managed to provide feed value.

Person means any and all persons, natural or artificial, including any individual, firm, or association; any municipal or private corporation organized or existing under the laws of Florida or any other state; any county of the state; and any governmental agency of the state or the federal government.

Pollutant means any substance, contaminant, or manmade or man-induced alteration of the chemical, physical, biological or radiological integrity of ground or surface water in quantities or levels which are or may be potentially harmful or injurious to human health or welfare, animal or plant life, or property, including outdoor recreation.

Post-development means land use, hydrologic conditions, and pollutant loading existing after proposed development activities are completed.

Pre-development means land use, hydrologic conditions, and pollutant loading existing prior to conducting proposed alteration or development activities.

Prohibited application period means the time period during which a flood watch or warning, or a tropical storm watch or warning, or a hurricane watch or warning, is in effect for any portion of Alachua County, issued by the National Weather Service, or if rainfall greater than or equal to two inches in a 24-hour period is likely.

Project area means the limits of a project parcel(s) or phase that is within the sensitive karst area excluding offsite areas, areas dedicated to LID techniques and stormwater management facilities. Open space and common areas may be excluded from the project area if they are maintained in a natural condition or in a condition that requires no fertilization.

Rapid infiltration retention basin means a constructed vertical drainage connection between the retention basin and a more pervious underlying geological formation, typically the Floridan aquifer. It typically incorporates removal and replacement of a semi-confining or confining soil layer with a more permeable material. The vertical drainage connection shall not meet the definition of an underground injection control well as codified in 40 CFR 144.3.

Redevelopment means any construction or improvement performed on sites where the existing site's impervious area exceeds 40 percent.

Residential landscape irrigation means the irrigation of landscape associated with any housing unit having sanitary and kitchen facilities designed to accommodate one or more residents, including multiple housing units and mobile homes.

Retention means a stormwater treatment system designed to prevent the discharge of a given volume of stormwater runoff, such as the required treatment volume, into surface waters by complete on-site storage of that volume.

Rotors means sprinkler heads in lawn areas that provide water as they rotate through a set arc of operation.

Saturated soil means a soil in which the voids are filled with water. Saturation does not require flow. For the purposes of this chapter, soils shall be considered saturated if standing water is present or the pressure of a person standing on the soil causes the release of free water.

Sensitive karst areas (SKAs) means the areas designated as "high vulnerability" or "vulnerable" zones of the Floridan Aquifer as defined by the Alachua County Stormwater Treatment Manual, and with soil types classified as "excessively drained", "somewhat excessively drained", or "well drained" as defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Soil Survey Geographic (SSURGO) Database for Florida.

Significant adverse impact means the contamination, alteration, or destruction, or that which contributes to the contamination, alteration, or destruction, of a natural resource, or portion thereof, to the degree that its environmental benefits are or will be eliminated, reduced, or impaired, such that the activity will cause long term negative impacts on the natural resource.

Sinkhole means a depression in the land's surface which has been created by dissolution of underlying limestone or other soluble rocks and the collapse of the overlying surficial material into the underlying solution cavities.

Slow or controlled release fertilizer is a fertilizer containing a plant nutrient in a form which delays its availability for plant uptake and use after application, or which extends its availability to the plant significantly longer than a reference rapidly available nutrient fertilizer.

Sports turf means non-agricultural land planted exclusively for golf courses, parks and athletic fields.

Spray heads means irrigation heads that pop up with water pressure and provide a continuous spray pattern throughout a given arc of operation.

Soil moisture sensor means a soil-based device that assesses the available plant soil moisture to minimize the unnecessary use of water and optimize the effectiveness of an irrigation system.

Stormwater means the flow of water which results from, and which occurs immediately following, a rainfall event.

Stormwater management system means a system which is designed and engineered to control discharges which are necessitated by rainfall events, incorporating methods to collect, convey, store, absorb, inhibit, treat, use, or reuse water to prevent or reduce flooding, overdrainage, environmental degradation, and water pollution or otherwise affect the quantity and quality of discharges from the system.

Substantial modification means any modification to existing irrigation systems such that 50 percent or more of the irrigation system (by area) is replaced or altered.

Surface waters means, but shall not be limited to, rivers, lakes, streams, springs, ponds, intermittent water courses and associated wetlands, and all other waters or bodies of water found on land surface.

Temporary establishment irrigation means the temporary use of irrigation for the establishment of new vegetation that shall be removed once the plants are established or within two years, whichever occurs first.

Total maximum daily load (TMDL) means the maximum allowable average annual loading to an impaired water body that will allow the water body to meet its applicable water quality standards. A TMDL is adopted by FDEP and represents the sum of the individual wasteload allocations for point sources, the load allocations for nonpoint sources, and natural background for an impaired water body or water body identification number. A TMDL includes either an implicit or explicit margin of safety or a consideration of seasonal variations. (Chapter 62-302.200, F.A.C).

Turf means a piece of grass-covered soil held together by the roots of the grass.

Verified impaired water body means a water body or water body segment that does not meet its applicable water quality standards as set forth in Chapters 62-302 and 62-4, F.A.C., as determined by the methodology in Part IV of Chapter 62-303, F.A.C., due in whole or in part to discharges of pollutants from point or nonpoint sources.

Water body identification number (WBID) means a water body assessment unit representing a relatively homogenous and hydrologically distinct segment of a major surface water body. Each assessment unit is represented by a unique waterbody identifier (WBID number) and is characterized by waterbody type (including rivers/streams, lakes, estuaries, coastal waters, and beaches) and a waterbody class.

Weather based controller means a smart irrigation controller that uses weather data to calculate evapotranspiration to adjust irrigation schedules to deliver only enough water to meet the plant needs.

Well means any excavation that is drilled, cored, bored, washed, driven, dug, jetted, or otherwise constructed when the intended use of such excavation is to conduct groundwater from an aquifer or aquifer system to the surface by pumping or natural flow, to conduct waters or other liquids from the surface into any area beneath the surface of land or water by pumping or natural flow, or to monitor the characteristics of groundwater within an aquifer system(s). For the purposes of this chapter, geotechnical borings greater than 20 feet in depth shall be included in the definition of "well."

Well not in use means a well from which water has not been or cannot be withdrawn for a period of one year. This definition does not include properly maintained monitoring and backup publicly owned and operated supply wells.

Wetlands as defined in F.S. § 373.019(17), means those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface water or ground water at a frequency and a duration sufficient to support, and under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soils. Soils present in wetlands generally are classified as hydric or alluvial, or possess characteristics that are associated with reducing soil conditions. The prevalent vegetation in wetlands generally consists of facultative or obligate hydrophytic macrophytes that are typically adapted to areas having soil conditions described above. These species, due to morphological, physiological, or reproductive adaptations, have the ability to grow, reproduce or persist in aquatic environments or anaerobic soil conditions. Florida wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bayheads, bogs, cypress domes and strands, sloughs, wet prairies, riverine swamps and marshes, hydric seepage slopes, tidal marshes, mangrove swamps and other similar areas. Florida wetlands generally do not include longleaf or slash pine flatwoods with an understory dominated by saw palmetto.

( Ord. No. 2018-05 , § 2, 1-23-18; Ord. No. 2018-24 , § 2, 10-23-18; Ord. No. 2019-09A , § 2, 4-9-19)

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Sec. 77.04. - Applicability.

The requirements of this chapter are applicable to all persons within incorporated and unincorporated Alachua County.

(Ord. No. 2018-05 , § 2, 1-23-18)

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Sec. 77.05. - Administration and role of the department.

The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department Director, or designee, is hereby designated as the county officer responsible for the administration and enforcement of this chapter. The department and its designated employees shall have the applicable powers and duties as designated in Chapter 73 of the Alachua County Code of Ordinances.

(Ord. No. 2018-05 , § 2, 1-23-18)

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ARTICLE I. - WATER QUALITY CODE

Sec. 77.06. - Prohibitions.

  1. It shall be unlawful and a violation of this chapter to discharge or cause or permit the discharge of any material into surface water, groundwater or stormwater management system within Alachua County that results in:
    1. A violation of the State of Florida's Surface Water Quality Standards found in F.A.C. 62-302 adopted and incorporated in this article by reference for surface water quality standards, as may be amended from time to time.
    2. A violation of the State of Florida's Groundwater and Drinking Water Quality Standards found in F.A.C. 62-520 and 62-550 adopted and incorporated in this article by reference for groundwater and drinking water quality standards, as may be amended from time to time.
    3. A violation of the State of Florida's Groundwater and Surface Water Cleanup Target Levels found in F.A.C. 62-777 adopted and incorporated in this article by reference for groundwater and surface water quality standards, as may be amended from time to time.
  2. Exclusions. Discharges specifically authorized by, and in full compliance with, federal, state or local permits are not subject to the provisions of this article unless the department can demonstrate a significant adverse environmental impact resulting from the permitted discharge.

(Ord. No. 2018-05 , § 3, 1-23-18)

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Sec. 77.07. - Reporting requirements.

Any person owning or occupying a premises or facility who has knowledge of a discharge of pollutants from those premises or facilities or other type of evidence which might result in a violation of the prohibitions found in section 77.06 of this article shall immediately take action to abate the discharge of pollutants, and shall notify the department within 24 hours of the discharge of pollutants. Hazardous materials discharges shall be reported as prescribed in the Alachua County Hazardous Materials Management Code, Chapter 353, Alachua County Code.

(Ord. No. 2018-05 , § 3, 1-23-18)

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Sec. 77.08. - Site remediation and monitoring.

The department is authorized to order the cleanup, abatement, or monitoring or take such other actions as may be necessary to cause cleanup, abatement, or monitoring of discharges in violation of the prohibitions found in section 77.06 of this article. Administrative appeals to the requirements of this section shall be handled in accordance with the procedures outlined in section 77.15.

(Ord. No. 2018-05 , § 3, 1-23-18)

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Sec. 77.09. - General requirements.

  1. Dry weather runoff water. It shall be prohibited to discharge into surface waters or directly into ground waters through wells or sinkholes the following materials:
    1. Wastewater from cleaning or maintenance activities, including, but not limited to car washing, carpet cleaning, sidewalk, building, roads and parking lot cleaning.
    2. Chlorinated wastewater from swimming pools cleanup and pool water treatment materials, including diatomaceous earth.
    3. Wastewater, including water that has leached through waste materials including, but not limited to barrels, trash cans, dumpsters, and containers for food scrap or food grease recycling.
    4. Wastewater from water treatment equipment, including spent brine, from water softeners.
  2. Equipment maintenance and storage.
    1. Equipment parts such as vehicle engines containing grease, oil or other hazardous materials shall not be stored in areas susceptible to stormwater runoff.
    2. Any machine, which is to be repaired or maintained in an uncovered outdoor area, shall be placed on an impervious surface and/or provisions shall be available to contain hazardous materials discharges.
    3. Machinery and equipment, including motor vehicles, which are leaking significant amounts of oil or fluids must be repaired or be stored in areas not susceptible to stormwater runoff.
  3. Removal of debris and residue.
    1. All parking lots shall be routinely swept to remove debris.
    2. Litter shall not be discharged to a surface water body. Appropriate litter control practices shall be implemented to control litter entering surface water bodies.
    3. Landscaping waste including, but not limited to yard clippings, leaves and branches, shall not be discharged to a surface water body.
  4. Enforcement of residential violations. In addressing residential violations of sections 77.09(a)—(c), county staff shall provide an educational approach that emphasizes environmental awareness in order to achieve compliance prior to initiating enforcement action with the use of the provisions of section 77.15.

(Ord. No. 2018-05 , § 3, 1-23-18)

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Sec. 77.10. - Stormwater management systems.

  1. It shall be unlawful and a violation of this article for any person to introduce or cause to be introduced into a municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) or a private stormwater management system any discharge that is not composed entirely of stormwater, with the exception of:
    1. A discharge specifically authorized by, and in full compliance with, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits;
    2. A discharge specifically authorized by, and in full compliance with the department;
    3. A discharge or flow resulting from firefighting by the local authority having jurisdiction;
    4. The following non-stormwater discharges, provided they are not identified as a source of pollutants and approval is obtained from the stormwater management system owner:
      1. Rising ground waters;
      2. Uncontaminated ground water infiltration {as defined at 40 CFR 35.2005(20)} to separate storm sewers;
      3. Uncontaminated pumped ground water;
      4. Discharges from potable water sources;
      5. Foundation drains;
      6. Air conditioning condensate;
      7. Springs;
      8. Footing drains;
      9. Flows from riparian habitats and wetlands;
      10. De-chlorinated swimming pool discharges;
      11. Street wash waters.
  2. It shall be unlawful and a violation of this article for any person to establish, use, or maintain an illicit connection to a MS4 or private stormwater management system.

(Ord. No. 2018-05 , § 3, 1-23-18)

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Sec. 77.11. - Erosion and sedimentation control.

Erosion and sedimentation control BMPs shall be implemented at all excavations within incorporated and unincorporated Alachua County. The selected erosion and sedimentation control BMPs shall provide equal or better protection than those found in the current edition of "The Florida Stormwater, Erosion, and Sedimentation Control Inspector's Manual," compiled by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

( Ord. No. 2018-05 , § 3, 1-23-18)

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Sec. 77.12. - Groundwater protection.

  1. All existing wells that are not in use or that pose a threat to groundwater quality shall be properly abandoned within 90 days of their identification. The department will evaluate extensions or changes to this schedule on a case by case basis. Wells that pose a threat to groundwater include, but are not limited to, wells with deteriorated casings, wells that inter-connect aquifers allowing downward movement of poor quality water or contaminants, and other conditions, as determined by the department, that would allow water quality degradation.
  2. The owner or operator of any well to be abandoned shall comply with the following requirements:
    1. Obtain any water management district or FDEP permits required for proper well abandonment.
    2. Provide the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department with 30 days notice of the proposed abandonment.
    3. Properly abandon the well, using approved techniques to completely seal the well, in accordance with water management district rules and applicable local, state and federal requirements.
    4. Provide the department with a copy of the permit (if required) and a copy of the well completion report that has been submitted to the appropriate water management district.
  3. Aboveground and underground heating oil storage tank systems no longer in use shall be properly closed or upgraded to meet the requirements of the Alachua County Hazardous Materials Management Code, Chapter 353, of the Alachua County Code.
  4. Chemicals and fertilizers applied to lawns, gardens, golf courses, fields, and crops shall be applied following BMPs, such as "Best Management Practices to Protect Groundwater from Agricultural Pesticides" (UF 1993), "Silviculture BMPs" (FDACS 2003), "Best Management Practices for Golf Course Maintenance Departments" (FDEP 1995), or other applicable BMPs.
  5. All sinkholes determined by the department to represent a threat to groundwater quality must be properly managed. The responsible party shall contact the department with a sinkhole management plan prior to any modifications to the sinkhole.
  6. All dairies in Alachua County must submit a groundwater monitoring plan for review and approval to the department. Dairies within the unincorporated area of Alachua County and subject to the provisions of Section 361.40 of the Alachua County Code shall submit the groundwater monitoring plan as prescribed in section 361.40 of the Alachua County Code.

(Ord. No. 2018-05 , § 3, 1-23-18)

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Sec. 77.13. - Excavation and filling activities.

  1. Excavation and filling activities which involve the removal or filling of more than 200 cubic yards of material at a single site (which is defined to be one parcel or a group of contiguous parcels under common ownership or control) must comply with the following standards:
    1. Water quality. Land excavation and/or land filling activities shall not have an adverse impact on surface water or groundwater quality. Activities shall conform to the requirements of applicable county regulations and to the requirements of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Specifically, all filling shall conform to the applicable requirements of chapter 62-701, Florida Administrative Code.
      1. Where excavation at depths below the top of the surficial aquifer system requires the use of dewatering procedures, such procedures shall not have an adverse effect on surface water or surface water or groundwater quality or on loss of storage in the surficial aquifer system.
      2. Filling shall not be allowed in surface water, except as provided in chapters 62-4 and 62-312, Florida Administrative Code. Filling shall not be allowed in groundwater of the Florida or intermediate aquifer systems. Filling may be allowed in groundwater of the surficial aquifer system, but shall be limited to clean soil or rock materials (sand, clay, or limestone). Filling in limestone pits or quarries shall be limited to clean soil or rock materials (sand, clay, or limestone). Exceptions to these standards may be considered if liners, leachate collection systems, and cover systems are proposed for a site.
      3. Disposal of the following categories of materials in excavation-sites is prohibited:
        1. All types of solid waste (see chapter 62-701, Florida Administrative Code), and all hazardous materials and hazardous waste so designated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and local health and environmental protection agencies.
        2. All bio-medical wastes that may cause pathogenic contamination of water resources.
        3. Industrial chemicals, petroleum products, putrescible household waste, and other materials that would contaminate permitted fill material.
  2. Water levels. Excavation and/or filling activities shall not significantly alter the existing hydrologic characteristics of the water levels of either surface water or groundwater on surrounding property. Where a problem is anticipated as a result of known soil and hydrological factors (i.e., because of physical conditions and/or experience with other excavation or filling sites in the area), de-watering potentials of land excavation operations shall be evaluated by conducting an on-site field investigation of horizontal permeability in materials that are representative of the section to be dewatered. Results of testing and impact analysis shall be certified by a qualified professional geologist or a professional engineer registered by the State of Florida. The findings of this analysis shall be submitted for review and approval to the department.

(Ord. No. 2018-05 , § 3, 1-23-18)

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Sec. 77.13.5. - Prohibition of oil or natural gas extraction.

No person, firm, corporation or other entity shall extract oil or natural gas, perform any well stimulation treatments for the extraction of oil or natural gas, or dispose of oil or natural gas extraction waste products by well injection methods in Alachua County, unless otherwise preempted by state or federal law. As used in this section, "extraction" shall mean the digging or drilling of a well for the purposes of producing oil or natural gas and the removal or production of oil or natural gas from subsurface deposits. As used in this section, "oil or natural gas" shall mean all subsurface deposits of petroleum or hydrocarbon gas products.

(Ord. No. 2018-05 , § 3, 1-23-18)

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Sec. 77.14. - Reimbursable costs.

Any person found to be in violation of any of the requirements of this article is responsible for reimbursement to the county of all investigative costs incurred by the county. Investigative costs shall include, but are not limited to, cost of equipment operation and maintenance associated with the investigation; cost of materials used in the investigation; personnel cost of contract services, waste disposal cost, laboratory costs, and department's labor costs. The county shall submit an itemized invoice with all reimbursable costs to the person found to be responsible for the violation.

(Ord. No. 2018-05 , § 3, 1-23-18)

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Sec. 77.15. - Enforcement.

Violation of any provision of this article shall be subject to penalties as provided in Chapter 24, Alachua County Code or any other remedy available at law or equity.

(Ord. No. 2018-05 , § 3, 1-23-18)

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Sec. 77.16. - Use of awards.

  1. Any money recovered by the county in an action against any person who has caused pollution in the county in violation of this article or state law shall be used for water quality improvement projects in Alachua County.
  2. There is hereby created the Alachua County Water Quality Trust Fund, which is to be supervised and used by the county for water quality monitoring and improvement projects and programs to the extent of money available in the fund. The fund shall consist of all money specified in subsection (a).

(Ord. No. 2018-05 , § 3, 1-23-18)

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Sec. 77.17. - Severability.

It is the declared intent of the board of county commissioners that, if any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or provision of this article is held invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, such invalidity or unconstitutionality shall not be so construed as to render invalid or unconstitutional the remaining provisions of this chapter.

(Ord. No. 2018-05 , § 3, 1-23-18)

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ARTICLE II. - COUNTYWIDE WETLAND PROTECTION CODE

Sec. 77.18. - Prohibitions.

Except as otherwise expressly provided in this article, no alteration shall occur in, on, or over a surface water or wetland area or buffer, and no alteration shall occur adjacent to or connected to a surface water or wetland area such that water quality is in violation of the standards of this chapter or the water regime is modified in a way that precludes the area in question from maintaining the surface water or hydroperiod necessary to sustain wetland structure and function equivalent to predevelopment levels.

(Ord. No. 2018-05 , § 4, 1-23-18; Ord. No. 2018-24 , § 3, 10-23-18)

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Sec. 77.19. - Surface water and wetland buffer protection.

  1. Buffers are integral to the maintenance of surface water and wetland structure and function and for water quality protection.
  2. Absent scientific information submitted to and approved by the department which demonstrates that a larger or smaller buffer width does not result in a significant adverse impact, the following buffer widths shall apply for the resources set forth in the table below. If a municipality's regulations require a larger buffer, the larger buffer standard shall be required within the boundaries of that municipality.
  3. The buffer shall retain the existing undisturbed vegetation. No alteration shall occur within a buffer area, except as expressly provided in this article or as approved by Alachua County in accordance with standards set forth in this chapter. The above shall not be interpreted to prohibit the removal of non-native vegetation or the planting of native vegetation.

TABLE 77.19.1 SURFACE WATER AND WETLAND BUFFERS
Protected Resource Buffer Distance (feet)*
Surface waters and wetlands less than or equal to 0.5 acre that do not include Outstanding Florida Waters or listed animal species as described elsewhere in this table 50 average, 35 minimum
Surface waters and wetlands greater than 0.5 acre that do not include Outstanding Florida Waters or listed animal species as described elsewhere in this table 75 average, 50 minimum
Areas where federally and/or state regulated vertebrate wetland/aquatic dependent animal species have been documented within 300 feet of a surface water or wetland 100 average, 75 minimum
Outstanding Florida Waters (OFWs) 150 average, 100 minimum

*If the buffer precludes all economically viable use of a particular property, alteration may be allowed within the buffer in accordance with section 77.20.

(Ord. No. 2018-05 , § 4, 1-23-18; Ord. No. 2018-24 , § 3, 10-23-18)

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Sec. 77.20. - Authorized impacts.

  1. Alteration activities shall not be authorized in wetlands or wetland buffers except when the following criteria are met:
    1. The applicant has taken every reasonable step to avoid adverse impact to the wetland and buffer; and
    2. The applicant has taken every reasonable step to minimize adverse impact to the wetland and buffer; and
    3. The applicant has provided appropriate mitigation for adverse impacts to the wetland and buffer; and
    4. Mitigation may be permitted for new wetland loss only where the applicant demonstrates that the activity cannot practically be located on the upland portion of the parcel or contiguous parcels under common ownership or control. The applicant must demonstrate that one of the following applies:
      1. Minimal impact activity;
      2. Overriding public interest; or
      3. All economically viable use of the property is otherwise precluded;
  2. An applicant may be permitted to impact wetlands where the applicant can demonstrate that the existing wetlands that are to be converted to upland uses are of minimal function and value based on their size, soils, hydrology, plant and animal life, and that the measures necessary to sustain or restore the existing wetlands would be less feasible than the proposed mitigation plan; and
  3. Impact area shall not exceed the rate of one-half acre per ten acres of wetland area, including the footprint of principal and accessory structures and parking, allowing for reasonable access.
  4. Impact may also be allowed to isolated poor quality wetlands as follows:
    1. Impact may be allowed to any isolated poor quality wetland that is less than 0.25 acre in size, provided the total impact area is less than 0.25 acre per project.
    2. For purposes of this section, poor quality shall be defined as minimal function and value based on their size, soils, hydrology, plant and animal life, and that the measures necessary to sustain or restore the existing wetlands would be less feasible than the proposed mitigation plan.
    3. Mitigation of adverse impact shall be required.
  5. Mitigation may be located in Alachua County and, to the maximum extent practicable, within the local watershed in which the impact occurs.
  6. Wetland mitigation shall be determined for individual projects by applying the Uniform Wetland Mitigation Assessment Method, pursuant to Chapter 62-345, Florida Administrative Code.
  7. Wetland buffer mitigation shall be provided on or adjacent to the site or offsite or fee-in lieu of land. The order in which mitigation will be considered shall be:
    1. Onsite restoration or enhancement. An applicant may mitigate for impacts onsite by replanting on or adjacent to the parcel, relocating movable resources from one portion to another portion of the parcel, or other measures to restore the quality, function and value of the resource. Permanent protection may be required to ensure the continued viability of the area to be restored or enhanced.
    2. Offsite preservation. The applicant may provide offsite mitigation through the preservation of land through offsite dedication, transfer of fee or less than fee simple title to a land conservation agency, non-profit conservation organization, or other entity approved by the department. Mitigation of impacts to a regulated plant or animal species or its habitat that is required by a state or federal agency (such as the water management districts) shall be applied towards offsite mitigation if it is for the same project and meets the following requirements:
      1. Offsite protection sites shall meet all appropriate size, site selection and design, protection, ownership and maintenance, and other applicable provisions of this article. Fencing may be required to control access to the mitigation area.
      2. Offsite conservation management areas shall be located in Alachua County and may include:
        1. Sites composed of addition of land to existing publicly managed areas held for conservation purposes, such as state, county, or city parks or preserves;
        2. Sites recommended for preservation or restoration by a state or local governmental land conservation agency; or
        3. Other suitable sites within an ecosystem or watershed in proximity to the conservation or preservation area being adversely impacted by the alteration.
    3. Fee-in-lieu of land. As an alternative to the protection of land, the county may allow contribution of a fee-in-lieu-of-land to the environmentally sensitive lands fund, under which the county shall purchase or manage land to protect natural resources in accordance with standards of this chapter. Where fee-in-lieu of land is allowed, the cash payment shall be equivalent to 150 percent of the average per acre-appraised market value, at the time of permit application, multiplied by the number of acres of regulated buffer area for which mitigation is required, plus estimated total cost of management required to establish the viability of that type of resource.

( Ord. No. 2018-05 , § 4, 1-23-18; Ord. No. 2018-24 , § 3, 10-23-18)

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Sec. 77.21. - Exemptions.

  1. The following activities are allowed on regulated surface waters, wetlands, and wetland buffers, subject to municipal regulations, if any, and any specified limitations, restrictions, and conditions:
    1. Bona fide agriculture. Agriculture and silviculture farming operations that are not part of a development application and that meet the provisions and criteria pursuant to F.S. Chapter 163.3162, the Agricultural Lands and Practices Act, or F.S. 823.14(6), the Right to Farm Act, shall be exempt.
    2. Minor nature trails. Construction and maintenance of public or private nature trails no greater than ten feet in width, including boardwalks and foot bridges, provided that no more dredging or filling is performed than necessary to install, repair, or replace pilings.
    3. Minor docks and boardwalks. The installation of a dock and/or boardwalk less than 1,000 square feet in total surface area provided there are no significant adverse impacts. The square footage calculation excludes walkways landward of the ordinary high water line.
    4. Treatment wetlands. Specific permitted use(s) and associated required modifications in "treatment wetlands" or in a "wetlands stormwater discharge facility" pursuant to Chapter 62-611 Florida Administrative Code, respectively. Failure to comply with operating conditions of such permit(s) shall nullify this exemption.
    5. Connection of stormwater facilities. Dredging or filling which is required to connect stormwater management facilities permitted by the St. Johns River Water Management District, the Suwannee River Water Management District, the Alachua County Department of Public Works or Municipal systems to nontidal wetlands and which is incidental to the construction of such stormwater management facilities. Incidental dredging or filling shall include:
      1. Headwalls and discharge structures; and
      2. Erosion control devices or structures to dissipate energy which are associated with discharge structures; and
      3. Outfall pipes less than 20 feet in length, provided the pipe does not interfere with navigation; and
      4. The connection of ditches dug through the uplands where the dredging or filling for the connection to wetlands extends less than 20 feet in length into the wetland; and
      5. Other dredging or filling which the Environmental Protection Department determines will have a similar effect as those activities listed above.
    6. Repair or replacement. The repair or replacement of existing vehicular bridges, open-foot trestle bridges, functional piers, mooring piles, boat ramps, or stormwater discharge pipes, at the same location and of the same dimensions and configuration as the original being repaired or replaced, provided that no more dredging or filling is performed than necessary, and no debris from original structures shall be allowed to remain in jurisdictional wetlands.
    7. Emergency repairs. Emergency repairs consistent with the requirements of Rule 62-312.090, Florida Administrative Code.
    8. Maintenance dredging. The performance of maintenance dredging of existing man-made ditches, canals, channels, and intake and discharge structures, where the spoil material is to be removed and deposited on a self-contained, upland spoil site which will prevent the escape of the spoil material and return water from the spoil site into surface waters, provided no more dredging is performed than is necessary to restore the canals, channels, and intake and discharge structures to original design specifications, and provided further that control devices are used at the dredge site to prevent turbidity and toxic or deleterious substances from discharging into adjacent waters during maintenance dredging. This exemption shall not apply to the removal of a natural or man-made barrier separating a canal or canal system from adjacent waters.
    9. Previously approved permits.
      1. Dredge and fill permits: Specifically permitted dredge and fill or surface water management activities that were approved by a federal or state agency or a water management district, prior to the effective date of this code. Failure to comply with operating conditions of such permits shall nullify this exemption.
      2. Other permits: Projects for which the applicant demonstrates that final site plan or development plan approvals have been issued prior to the effective date of this code. Failure to comply with operating conditions of such permits shall nullify this exemption.
    10. Altered wetlands. In instances where the water regime of a wetland has been artificially altered, but the dominant vegetation of the area in question continues to be comprised of listed species, a feasibility of hydrologic restoration determination shall be made by county staff. Hydrologic restoration that can be accomplished by minor earth work or drainage controls, and would not be contrary to the public health, safety, and welfare, shall be viewed as the preferable alternative to the proposed alteration. This provision for exemption is not intended to apply in the case where a surface water and/or wetland has been filled or altered in violation of any rule, regulation, statute, or this chapter.
    11. Artificial wetlands. All man-made impoundments, lakes, streams, ponds, artificial or created wetlands, and all stormwater management facilities, provided that alteration in these areas will not adversely impact natural or mitigation surface waters and wetlands. If these facilities were required as a mitigation project they shall not be exempt from this chapter. If any wetlands or surface waters are part of a stormwater management facility approved by a city or the county, the same function must be provided and any modifications shall be subject to approval by the applicable city or county engineer.
    12. Miscellaneous. Those other projects for which the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department determines, in writing, that there will be no significant adverse impacts based on the factors and criteria set forth in this article.
  2. Additional exclusionary areas and exemptions within municipal boundaries are listed below:
    1. Urban redevelopment projects. Existing development projects within municipalities that are constructing or improving existing development on sites where the existing site is 40 percent or more impervious are exempt from meeting the requirements of this article, but are still subject to any other applicable federal, state, county, and municipal regulations. Applicants for urban redevelopment projects must demonstrate to the department that the application qualifies as an urban redevelopment project.

(Ord. No. 2018-05 , § 4, 1-23-18; Ord. No. 2018-24 , § 3, 10-23-18)

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Sec. 77.22. - Application and approval process.

  1. Applications for alterations within unincorporated Alachua County shall satisfy all other process and review requirements in the Alachua County Code.
  2. Applications for alterations within municipalities shall submit one of the following:
    1. Self-certification form for projects where the applicant can demonstrate that no wetlands or buffers are within their boundary, that the project is in compliance with section 77.19., or that the project is exempt under section 77.21.(a) above.
    2. Verification request form for applicants requesting verification from the county to determine exemptions under Sec. 77.21(a) or compliance with section 77.19.
    3. Application form for projects that are in, on or over a jurisdictional surface water, wetland, wetland buffer, or adjacent to or connected to a surface water or wetland, regardless of size, and do not meet protection standards listed in section 77.19, applicants must submit proposals to the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) in the form of an avoidance, minimization, and mitigation plan showing consistency with section 77.20. Final BOCC approval of the avoidance, minimization, and mitigation plan must be secured prior to any alteration within wetlands or buffers.

(Ord. No. 2018-05 , § 4, 1-23-18; Ord. No. 2018-24 , § 3, 10-23-18)

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Sec. 77.23. - Enforcement.

  1. Violation of any provision of this article shall be subject to penalties as provided in Chapter 24, Alachua County Code or any other remedy available at law or equity.
  2. Any money recovered by the county in an action against any person who has caused impacts to wetlands and wetland buffers in the county in violation of this article shall be placed in the environmentally sensitive lands fund and used for habitat and wetland improvement projects in Alachua County.

(Ord. No. 2018-05 , § 4, 1-23-18; Ord. No. 2018-24 , § 3, 10-23-18)

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ARTICLE III. - STORMWATER TREATMENT CODE

Sec. 77.24. - Prohibitions.

No person may construct a stormwater management system, without complying with the stormwater treatment performance standards from this article.

(Ord. No. 2018-24 , § 4, 10-23-18)

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Sec. 77.25. - Exemptions.

The county manager, or designee, shall issue a binding certificate of exemption to all parties submitting a request for same with supporting documentation demonstrating eligibility for exemptions in section 77.25(a) through (j). The following activities shall be exempt from the requirements of this article:

  1. Bona fide agriculture. Agriculture and silviculture farming operations that are not part of a development application and that meet the provisions and criteria pursuant to F.S. Chapter 163.3162, the Agricultural Lands and Practices Act, or F.S. 823.14(6), the Right to Farm Act; or
  2. The construction, alteration, or maintenance of a single-family residence and accessory structures; orA group of single-family residences and accessory structures in unincorporated Alachua County constructed as part of a family homestead subdivision in accordance with the requirements of section 407.75 of the Alachua County Unified Land Development Code where clearing and drainage does not adversely impact adjacent properties by diverting runoff; or
  3. A group of single-family residences and accessory structures in unincorporated Alachua County constructed as part of a family homestead subdivision in accordance with the requirements of section 407.75 of the Alachua County Unified Land Development Code where clearing and drainage does not adversely impact adjacent properties by diverting runoff; or
  4. Roadway modifications within existing county or municipal road rights-of-way, provided the cross-sectional volume capacity of the existing roadside swale is not reduced and provided that there are no downstream impacts; or
  5. Redevelopment, as defined in this chapter; or
  6. Off-site compensating treatment facilities permitted and constructed prior to January 1, 2019; or
  7. Projects discharging to exempt facilities that have also obtained a modification to the water management district permit for the compensating treatment facility; or
  8. Stormwater management systems:
    1. Included in a preliminary development plan, or equivalent in the municipalities, approved by April 23, 2019; or
    2. Included in an application for a final development plan, or equivalent in the municipalities, submitted by April 23, 2019; or
    3. Which have received a water management district permit (i.e. environmental resource permits), federal, state or local approval by April 23, 2019; or
    4. That comply with section 77.25(h)(3) and thereafter receive approval of modifications not requiring creation of additional stormwater capacity.
  9. Projects receiving the following entitlements on or before April 23, 2019 and remaining valid on said same date:
    1. Development of regional impact development order; or
    2. Preliminary development plan or final development plan approval, or equivalent in the municipalities; or
    3. Rezoning approval to planned development with a zoning master plan, or equivalent in the municipalities; or
    4. Special exception or special use permit approval with a master plan, or equivalent in the municipalities; or
    5. Development order granting construction permits or subdivision approval, or equivalent in the municipalities.
      This exemption shall not apply to modifications to entitlements enumerated in subsection 77.25(i)(1)—(5) required to accommodate additional stormwater capacity. Compliance with the stormwater treatment standards contained in section 77.27 is required for the additional capacity.
  10. Project with sensitive karst area consisting of less than 10 percent of the total project boundary shall be exempt from the karst criteria in subsection 77.27(d).

(Ord. No. 2018-24 , § 4, 10-23-18; Ord. No. 2019-09B , § 3, 4-23-19)

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Sec. 77.26. - Waivers.

  1. A waiver from specific requirements of this article may be granted by the department where a proposed building addition will not result in significant adverse impacts to stormwater quality; the environment; or public health, safety, or welfare. It is the applicant's burden to demonstrate that a waiver is warranted.
  2. Stormwater management systems located on parcels with total land area less than one acre in size may be eligible for a partial waiver from the stormwater treatment performance standards in section 77.27 based on a demonstration by the applicant that meeting these standards is not technically feasible. A technical feasibility analysis must be submitted to demonstrate that higher levels of treatment are not achievable. Based on the submitted technical feasibility analysis, the department may grant a partial waiver to the applicant.

(Ord. No. 2018-24 , § 4, 10-23-18)

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Sec. 77.27. - Stormwater treatment performance standards.

The Alachua County Stormwater Treatment program is based on minimum levels of stormwater treatment and BMPs design criteria that are presumed to achieve the desired level of load reduction, as defined in this section. The performance standards will vary with the health of the receiving water body. A stormwater management system must be designed to achieve the minimum level of treatment specified below, as applicable to the project and its location:

  1. Projects that discharge directly or indirectly to surface waters Reduce both the post-development annual average stormwater total nitrogen load by at least 70% (discharge of 30% of post-development load is allowed) and the annual average stormwater total phosphorus load by at least 80% (discharge of 20% of post-development load is allowed).
  2. Projects that discharge directly to Outstanding Florida Waters - Reduce the post-development annual average total nitrogen and total phosphorus load by at least 95% (discharge of 5% of post-development load is allowed).
  3. Projects within watersheds of Verified Impaired Water Bodies or Water Bodies with Adopted Nutrient Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) - Either meet the performance standard in (a) or (b) above, or reduce the post-development average annual nitrogen and phosphorus load to at least 10 percent less than the pre-development average annual nitrogen and phosphorus load, whichever provides the highest amount of average annual nutrient load reduction.
  4. Projects using retention BMPs within Sensitive Karst Areas - Meet (a), (b), or (c) above, as applicable to the surface water; and treat the first inch of runoff from the project area with one or more low impact design techniques separate from the dry retention basin(s).
  5. Projects using rapid infiltration stormwater retention basins will incorporate appropriate BMPs to reduce the post-development total nitrogen loading into the ground water by at least 70%.
  6. General Groundwater Protection Standards within Sensitive Karst Areas (RESERVED).

(Ord. No. 2018-24 , § 4, 10-23-18)

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Sec. 77.28. - Required documents.

Within 30 calendar days of submitting an application for a final development plan, or its equivalent in the municipalities, that includes a stormwater management system or stormwater facility, the applicant shall submit to the county:

  1. Project site plans clearly indicating the proposed BMPs used to meet stormwater treatment performance standards;
  2. Calculated nitrogen and phosphorous load reductions for each of the BMPs used and for the overall stormwater management system, including supporting documentation and data;
  3. Operation & maintenance requirements for each BMP used and the entity responsible for the implementation of the requirements;
  4. An affidavit from a registered professional engineer, architect or landscape architect in the State of Florida certifying that the stormwater system meets all of the requirements of the Alachua County Stormwater Treatment Code.

(Ord. No. 2018-24 , § 4, 10-23-18; Ord. No. 2019-09B , § 3, 4-23-19)

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Sec. 77.29. - Presumption of compliance.

Projects designed, constructed, operated, and maintained in accordance with the load reduction performance standards and BMPs requirements found in the Alachua County Stormwater Treatment Manual are presumed to be in compliance with the requirements of this article. The department may approve alternative methods if the applicant demonstrates compliance with the stormwater treatment performance standards of section 77.27.

(Ord. No. 2018-24 , § 4, 10-23-18)

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Sec. 77.30. - Reimbursable costs.

Any person found to be in violation of any of the requirements of this article is responsible for reimbursement to the county of all investigative costs incurred by the county. Investigative costs shall include, but are not limited to, cost of equipment operation and maintenance associated with the investigation; cost of materials used in the investigation; personnel cost of contract services, waste disposal cost, laboratory costs, and the department's labor costs. The county shall submit an itemized invoice with all reimbursable costs to the person found to be responsible for the violation.

(Ord. No. 2018-24 , § 4, 10-23-18)

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Sec. 77.31. - Enforcement.

Violation of any provision of this article shall be subject to penalties as provided in Chapter 24, Alachua County Code or any other remedy available at law or equity.

(Ord. No. 2018-24 , § 4, 10-23-18)

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Sec. 77.32. - Use of awards.

  1. Any money recovered by the county in an action against any person who has caused pollution in the county in violation of this article, or related state law, shall be used for water quality improvement projects in Alachua County and shall be deposited in the Alachua County Water Quality Trust Fund.

(Ord. No. 2018-24 , § 4, 10-23-18)

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ARTICLE IV. - FERTILIZER STANDARDS AND MANAGEMENT PRACTICES

Sec. 77.33. - Purpose and intent.

This article regulates the use of fertilizers by any applicator; requires proper training of commercial and institutional fertilizer applicators; establishes training and licensing requirements; establishes requirements for notice to consumers; establishes a prohibited application period; specifies allowable fertilizer application rates and methods, fertilizer-free zones, low maintenance zones, and exemptions. This article requires the use of best management practices which provide specific management guidelines to minimize negative secondary and cumulative environmental effects associated with the misuse of fertilizers. These secondary and cumulative effects have been observed in and on Alachua County's natural and constructed stormwater and drainage conveyances, rivers, creeks, canals, springs, lakes, wetlands and other water bodies. Collectively, these water bodies are an asset critical to the environmental, recreational, cultural and economic well-being of Alachua County residents and the health of the public. Overgrowth of algae and vegetation hinder the effectiveness of flood attenuation provided by natural and constructed stormwater and drainage conveyances. Regulation of nutrients, including both phosphorus and nitrogen contained in fertilizer, will help improve and maintain water and habitat quality.

(Ord. No. 2018-24 , § 5, 10-23-18)

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Sec. 77.34. - Applicability.

This article shall be applicable countywide to all fertilizer application and applicators within unincorporated and incorporated Alachua County, unless such applicator is specifically exempted from the regulatory provisions by the terms of this article.

(Ord. No. 2018-24 , § 5, 10-23-18)

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Sec. 77.35. - Timing of fertilizer application.

No applicator may apply fertilizers containing nitrogen and/or phosphorus to turf and/or landscape plants during a prohibited application period, during July through February every year (goes into effect 10/1/19), or to saturated soils. The July through February application period [ban] is not applicable to sports turf facilities in compliance with section 77.38 of this Code. Fertilizer containing nitrogen or phosphorus shall not be applied before seeding or sodding a site, and shall not be applied for the first 30 days after seeding or sodding, except when hydro-seeding for temporary or permanent erosion control in an emergency situation, or in accordance with an adopted stormwater pollution prevention plan for that site.

(Ord. No. 2018-24 , § 5, 10-23-18; Ord. No. 2019-09A , § 4, 4-9-19)

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Sec. 77.36. - Fertilizer free zones.

Applicators shall not apply fertilizer within a minimum of ten feet from any pond, stream, watercourse, lake, canal, or wetland as defined by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (Chapter 62-340, Florida Administrative Code) or from the top of a seawall. If a deflector shield, drop spreader, or liquid applicator with a visible and sharply defined edge is used, then applicators shall not apply fertilizer within a minimum of three feet from any pond, stream, watercourse, lake, canal, or wetland as defined by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (Chapter 62-340, Florida Administrative Code) or from the top of a seawall. If more stringent code regulations apply, this provision does not relieve the requirement to adhere to the more stringent regulations. Newly planted turf and/or landscape plants may be fertilized in this zone only for a sixty (60) day period beginning 30 days after planting, if needed, to allow the plants to become well established. Applicators shall not directly deposit nutrients into the water.

(Ord. No. 2018-24 , § 5, 10-23-18)

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Sec. 77.37. - Low maintenance zones.

A voluntary ten-foot maintenance zone is strongly recommended, but not mandated, from any pond, stream, water course, lake, wetland or from the top of a seawall. A swale/berm system is recommended for installation at the landward edge of this low maintenance zone to capture and filter runoff. If more stringent Code regulations apply, this provision does not relieve the requirement to adhere to the more stringent regulations. No mowed or cut vegetative material should be deposited or left remaining in this zone or deposited in the water. Care should be taken to prevent the over-spray of aquatic weed products in this zone.

(Ord. No. 2018-24 , § 5, 10-23-18)

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Sec. 77.38. - Fertilizer content and application rates.

  1. Fertilizers applied to turf and/or landscape plants shall be formulated and applied in accordance with directions provided by Rule 5E-1.003, Florida Administrative Code, Labeling Requirements For Urban Turf Fertilizers.
  2. Nitrogen or phosphorus fertilizer shall not be applied to turf or landscape plants except as provided in (a) above for turf, or in UF/IFAS recommendations for landscape plants, vegetable gardens, and fruit trees and shrubs, unless a soil or tissue deficiency has been verified by an approved test.
  3. No fertilizer containing phosphorus shall be applied to turf, sod, lawns, or landscape plants unless a soil or plant tissue deficiency is verified by a testing methodology approved by the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. If a deficiency is verified, the application of fertilizer containing phosphorous must adhere to the rates and direction for the appropriate region of Florida, as adopted by the Florida Administrative Code Rule. This subsection (c) controls over any inconsistent provisions in subsections (a) and (b) above regarding phosphorous (goes into effect 10/1/19).
  4. Fertilizers containing nitrogen applied to turf or landscaping plants must contain no less than 50 percent slow release nitrogen per guaranteed analysis label. This subsection (d) controls over any inconsistent provisions in subsections (a) and (b) regarding nitrogen (goes into effect 10/1/19).

(Ord. No. 2018-24 , § 5, 10-23-18; Ord. No. 2019-09A , § 4, 4-9-19)

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Sec. 77.39. - Application practices.

Applicators shall comply with the following fertilizer application practices:

  1. Spreader deflector shields are required when fertilizing via rotary (broadcast) spreaders. Deflectors must be positioned such that fertilizer granules are deflected away from all impervious surfaces, fertilizer-free zone and water bodies, including wetlands.
  2. Fertilizer shall not be applied, spilled, or otherwise deposited on any impervious surfaces.
  3. Any fertilizer applied, spilled, or deposited, either intentionally or accidentally, on any impervious surface shall be immediately and completely removed to the greatest extent practicable.
  4. Fertilizer released on an impervious surface must be immediately contained and either legally applied to turf or any other legal site or returned in the original or other appropriate container.
  5. In no case shall fertilizer be washed, swept, or blown off impervious surfaces into stormwater drains, ditches, conveyances, or water bodies.

(Ord. No. 2018-24 , § 5, 10-23-18)

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Sec. 77.40. - Management of grass clippings and vegetative matter.

In no case shall grass clippings, vegetative material, and/or vegetative debris either intentionally or accidentally, be washed, swept, or blown off into stormwater drains, ditches, conveyances, water bodies, wetlands, or sidewalks or roadways. Any material that is accidentally so deposited shall be immediately removed by the responsible party to the maximum extent practicable.

(Ord. No. 2018-24 , § 5, 10-23-18)

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Sec. 77.41. - Storage requirements.

  1. Nitrogen-based fertilizers shall be stored separately from solvents, fuels, pesticides and any other incompatible products.
  2. Fertilizer containers shall be stored in areas protected from rainfall and stormwater runoff.

(Ord. No. 2018-24 , § 5, 10-23-18)

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Sec. 77.42. - Notice to consumers.

Persons, firms, corporations, franchises, and commercial establishments selling fertilizers containing nitrogen or phosphorus shall post a notice stating that the use of lawn and landscape fertilizers in Alachua County is restricted in accordance with this article. Signage will be provided by Alachua County and shall be displayed in a location that is clearly visible to consumers.

(Ord. No. 2018-24 , § 5, 10-23-18)

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Sec. 77.43. - Exemptions.

The provisions set forth above in this article shall not apply to:

  1. Bona fide farm operations as defined in the Florida Right to Farm Act, Section 823.14, Florida Statutes, provided that fertilizers are applied in accordance with the appropriate best management practices manual adopted by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Office of Agricultural Water Policy for the crop in question.
  2. Other properties not subject to or covered under the Florida Right to Farm Act that have pastures used for grazing livestock; provided that fertilizers are applied in accordance with the appropriate best management practices manual adopted by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Office of Agricultural Water Policy for the crop in question.
  3. Any lands used for bona fide scientific research, including, but not limited to, research on the effects of fertilizer use on urban stormwater, water quality, agronomics, or horticulture.
  4. Yard waste compost and mulches.

(Ord. No. 2018-24 , § 5, 10-23-18)

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Sec. 77.44. - Training.

  1. All commercial and institutional applicators of fertilizer must successfully complete the six-hour training program and abide by the requirements of the "Florida Friendly Best Management Practices for Protection of Water Resources by the Green Industries" offered by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection through the University of Florida Extension "Florida-Friendly Landscaping TM" program, or a Florida Department of Environmental Protection approved equivalent program.
  2. Private, non-commercial applicators are encouraged to follow the recommendations of the University of Florida IFAS Florida Yards and Neighborhoods program when applying fertilizers.

(Ord. No. 2018-24 , § 5, 10-23-18)

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Sec. 77.45. - Licensing of commercial applicators.

All commercial applicators of fertilizer shall have and carry in their possession at all times when applying fertilizer, evidence of certification by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services as a Commercial Fertilizer Applicator per 5E-14.117(18) F.A.C. This requirement applies to all commercial employees applying fertilizers, not just the on-site manager.

(Ord. No. 2018-24 , § 5, 10-23-18)

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Sec. 77.46. - Enforcement.

Violation of any provision of this article shall be subject to penalties as provided in Chapter 24, Alachua County Code or any other remedy available at law or equity.

(Ord. No. 2018-24 , § 5, 10-23-18)

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Sec. 77.47. - Use of awards.

Any money recovered by the county in an action against any person who has caused pollution in the county in violation of this article, or related state law, shall be used for water quality improvement projects in Alachua County and shall be deposited in the Alachua County Water Quality Trust Fund.

(Ord. No. 2018-24 , § 5, 10-23-18)

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ARTICLE V. - IRRIGATION CONSERVATION STANDARDS AND MANAGEMENT PRACTICES

Sec. 77.48. - Applicability.

This article shall be applicable countywide within unincorporated and incorporated Alachua County.

(Ord. No. 2019-09A , § 5, 4-9-19)

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Sec. 77.49. - Landscape irrigation schedules.

  1. When Daylight Savings Time is in effect (second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November), landscape irrigation shall occur only in accordance with the following irrigation schedule:
    1. Residential landscape irrigation at odd numbered addresses or no address may occur only on Wednesday and Saturday and shall not occur between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.; and
    2. Residential landscape irrigation at even numbered addresses may occur only on Thursday and Sunday and shall not occur between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.; and
    3. Non-residential landscape irrigation may occur only on Tuesday and Friday and shall not occur between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.; and
    4. No more than three-fourths inch of water may be applied per irrigation zone on each day that irrigation occurs, and in no event shall irrigation occur for more than one hour per irrigation zone on each day that irrigation occurs.
  2. When Eastern Standard Time (the first Sunday in November to the second Sunday in March) is in effect, landscape irrigation shall occur only in accordance with the following irrigation schedule:
    1. Residential landscape irrigation at odd numbered addresses or no address may occur only on Saturday and shall not occur between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.; and
    2. Residential landscape irrigation at even numbered addresses may occur only on Sunday and shall not occur between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.; and
    3. Non-residential landscape irrigation may occur only on Tuesday and shall not occur between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.; and
    4. No more than three-fourths inch of water may be applied per irrigation zone on each day that irrigation occurs, and in no event shall irrigation occur for more than one hour per irrigation zone on each day that irrigation occurs.
  3. All landscape irrigation shall be limited in amount to only that necessary to meet landscape needs.

(Ord. No. 2019-09A , § 5, 4-9-19)

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Sec. 77.50. - Exceptions to the landscape irrigation schedules

Landscape irrigation shall be subject to the following irrigation schedule exceptions:

  1. Micro-irrigation is allowed anytime.
  2. Irrigation of new landscape is allowed at any time of day on any day for the initial 30 days and every other day for the next 30 days for a total of one 60-day period, provided that the irrigation is limited to the minimum amount necessary for such landscape establishment.
  3. Watering in of chemicals, including insecticides, pesticides, fertilizers, fungicides, and herbicides, when required by law, the manufacturer, or best management practices, is allowed at any time of day on any day within 24 hours of application. Watering in of chemicals shall not exceed one-fourth inch of water per application except as otherwise required by law, the manufacturer, or best management practices.
  4. Irrigation systems may be operated at any time of day on any day for maintenance and repair purposes not to exceed 20 minutes per hour per zone.
  5. Irrigation using a hand-held hose equipped with an automatic shut-off nozzle is allowed at any time of day on any day.
  6. Discharge of water from a water-to-air air-conditioning unit or other water-dependent cooling system is not limited.
  7. The use of water from a reclaimed water system is allowed anytime. For the purpose of this paragraph, a reclaimed water system includes systems in which the primary source is reclaimed water, which may or may not be supplemented from another source during peak demand periods.
  8. The use of recycled water from wet detention treatment ponds for irrigation is allowed anytime provided the ponds are not augmented from any ground or off-site surface water, or public supply sources.

(Ord. No. 2019-09A , § 5, 4-9-19)

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Sec. 77.51. - Variance from specific day of the week limitations.

  1. A variance from day or days-of-the-week watering restrictions set forth in section 77.49 may be granted by the Director of the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department if strict application of the scheduled day or days would lead to unreasonable or unfair results in particular instances, provided that the applicant demonstrates with particularity that compliance with the scheduled day or days will result in a substantial economic, health or other hardship on the applicant or those served by the applicant. Where a contiguous property is divided into different zones, a variance may be granted hereunder so that each zone may be irrigated on a different day or days than the other zones of the property. However, in no event shall a variance allow a single zone to be irrigated more than two days per week during Daylight Savings Time or more than one day per week during Eastern Standard Time. Appeals of the variance decision by the director shall be filed with the development review committee within 21 days of the director's decision.
  2. The appropriate water management district may grant a variance from the specific days of the week restrictions contained herein to persons conducting irrigation activities subject to this chapter who install a soil moisture sensor control system in accordance with Section 373.62, Florida Statutes.

(Ord. No. 2019-09A , § 5, 4-9-19)

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Sec. 77.52. - Automatic lawn sprinkler systems.

  1. An irrigation professional responsible for maintaining an irrigation system shall provide the property owner with a maintenance checklist affixed to or near the controller and accompanied by a recommended maintenance schedule, proper irrigation system settings according to season, recommendations for checking technology that inhibits or interrupts operation of the system during periods of sufficient moisture, filter cleaning recommendations, if applicable, and information on the current landscape irrigation restrictions.
  2. A property owner shall ensure that irrigation systems on their property are inspected at least annually for leaks, overspray, maladjusted heads, and heads that may be capped due to changes in the landscape, such as maturity or changes in plants. Technology that inhibits or interrupts operation of the system during periods of sufficient moisture may need to be replaced every few years and must be correctly functioning to be in compliance with this article. Irrigation systems with known leaks may not be operated until the leaks are repaired, except for testing purposes.

(Ord. No. 2019-09A , § 5, 4-9-19)

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Sec. 77.53 - Enforcement.

Violation of any provision of this article shall be subject to penalties as provided in Chapter 24, Alachua County Code or any other penalty available at law or equity.

(Ord. No. 2019-09A , § 5, 4-9-19)

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ARTICLE VI. - LANDSCAPE IRRIGATION DESIGN AND MAINTENANCE STANDARDS

Sec. 77.54. - Intent and purpose.

It is the intent and purpose of this article to promote increased water conservation and improve water quality throughout Alachua County by increasing irrigation efficiency and limiting harmful nutrient run-off.

(Ord. No. 2019-09A , § 6, 4-9-19)

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Sec. 77.55. - Territorial jurisdiction.

The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department (hereinafter "the department") shall administer the provisions of this article in unincorporated and incorporated (goes into effect 10/1/19) Alachua County.

(Ord. No. 2019-09A , § 6, 4-9-19)

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Sec. 77.56. - Applicability.

The provisions of this article shall apply to all new residential and commercial irrigation systems, whether operated automatically or manually, and substantial modification of existing irrigation systems. This article applies to irrigation systems regardless of whether the irrigation systems were installed by property owners, irrigation professionals or any other person. This article applies to all irrigation systems using water sources, including, but not limited to: reclaimed water, municipal water, well water, surface water, stormwater, gray water, and rainwater. This article applies to irrigation systems installed in common areas and open space within residential and commercial developments, as well as individual landscaped areas. The standards in this article do not apply to temporary establishment irrigation used for new vegetation.

(Ord. No. 2019-09A , § 6, 4-9-19)

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Sec. 77.57. - Irrigation professional registration.

All irrigation professionals installing or maintaining landscape irrigation systems within Alachua County must complete the Alachua County Irrigation Professional Notification Form, as provided by the department, for their business prior to working on irrigation systems within Alachua County. This section requires registration of businesses but does not require irrigation professionals to obtain certifications or training. Property owners installing or maintaining irrigation systems on their own property do not have to register with the county, but shall comply with the other provisions of this article.

(Ord. No. 2019-09A , § 6, 4-9-19)

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Sec. 77.58. - Florida Water Star Certification.

The Florida Water Star Certification program is a voluntary statewide water conservation certification program for new and existing homes and commercial developments. Residential and commercial properties obtaining Florida Water Star Certification will exceed the requirements of this article. During the pendency of a Florida Water Star application, applicants must submit the Alachua County Application Review Form as outlined in section 77.59. The irrigation system sketch, application review fee, inspection, and inspection fee required under this article are temporarily waived during the pendency of the Florida Water Star Certification application and permanently waived if Florida Water Star Certification is granted. Applicants who do not receive Florida Water Star Certification must comply with all provisions of this article within 90 calendar days of receiving notice that their application for Florida Water Star Certification was denied. Applicants who do not pursue or apply for Florida Water Star Certification must comply with all provisions of this article, as set forth herein.

(Ord. No. 2019-09A , § 6, 4-9-19)

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Sec. 77.59. - Irrigation system approval process.

  1. Prior to the installation of or substantial modification to an irrigation system, the proposed system must be approved by the department through the irrigation system approval process. As part of the approval process, an applicant proposing a new irrigation system or a substantial modification to an existing system must provide the department with the following:
    1. The application review form, as provided by the department;
    2. Irrigation system sketch;
    3. Application review fee; and
    4. Inspection fee. The inspection fee is waived for irrigation systems that are self-inspected by a licensed irrigation professional or a Florida Water Star Accredited Irrigation and Landscape Professional, as described in section 77.60.
  2. The irrigation system sketch shall:
    1. Indicate existing and proposed buildings, driveways, and other impervious surfaces.
    2. Delineate existing and proposed vegetated groupings such as turf grass, shrubs, and trees.
    3. Identify the location of the soil moisture sensor or weather based controller, the irrigation controller, sprinkler zone valves, wells, backflow prevention devices, rotor heads, spray heads, bubblers, low volume irrigation areas, irrigation zones, temporary irrigation areas, and high volume irrigation areas.
    4. Include the estimated area of the total landscaped area and areas with high volume irrigation.
  3. The department shall take action on any complete application within 15 calendar days of submittal. Installation approval is valid for a period of 24 months from the date of its issuance. The department may, at its discretion, extend this time limit for any reasonable period of time not to exceed an additional 12 months.

(Ord. No. 2019-09A , § 6, 4-9-19)

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Sec. 77.60. - Irrigation system inspection.

  1. New or substantially modified irrigation systems shall be inspected by the department within 30 calendar days of installation of or modification to the irrigation system or through the self-inspection process as outlined below. The department may review a sub-set of self-inspection sites to evaluate compliance rates and to determine if licensed irrigation professionals and Florida Water Star Accredited Professionals will be permitted to continue to self-inspect systems.
    1. Irrigation professionals who submit proof of a current Florida Irrigation Specialty Contractor license or proof of current Florida Water Star Accredited Irrigation and Landscape Professional accreditation may obtain authorization from the department to conduct self-inspections of irrigation systems which they install. The department may revoke an irrigation professional's authorization for self-inspection for failure to comply with this article, material misstatement or misrepresentation, or failure to pay required approval fees. A licensed irrigation professional or Florida Water Star Accredited Irrigation and Landscape Professional shall complete the self-inspection process by completing a self-inspection checklist, as provided by the department.

(Ord. No. 2019-09A , § 6, 4-9-19)

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Sec. 77.61. - Irrigation design standards.

  1. Irrigation systems shall be designed as follows:
    1. The maximum total irrigated area on residential lots, regardless of lot size, shall not exceed 0.5 acres. This provision does not apply to temporary irrigation such as portable hoses and sprinklers.
    2. High volume irrigation area shall not exceed 60 percent of the landscaped area. This standard is applicable on residential lots over one-eighth acre and commercial lots over one-eighth acre. This standard applies to common areas and open space in developments. This standard excludes vegetable gardens and fruit or nut trees on individual lots or community gardens.
    3. Narrow areas, four feet wide or less, shall not be irrigated unless correctly installed low volume irrigation is used.
    4. High volume irrigation shall not be used for trees, shrubs, or groundcover beds, with the exception of bubblers used for the temporary establishment of trees. Permanent low volume irrigation may be used in these areas. The county encourages the use of temporary establishment irrigation.
    5. Irrigation zones shall be divided according to vegetated groupings (e.g., turfgrass, shrubs, native plants, trees) and the water requirements of the plants. Turf grass and landscaped beds, such as trees, shrubs, and groundcover beds, shall not be irrigated in the same zone as each other, with the exception of bubblers used for the temporary establishment of trees.
    6. Sprinkler head types, such as spray heads and rotors, shall not be mixed in the same zone. Bubblers used for the establishment of trees may be on a zone with sprays or rotors if they are adjustable and will be turned off once the tree is established.
    7. Distribution equipment in a given zone shall have matched precipitation rates.
    8. Rotors and spray sprinkler heads in turfgrass areas shall be spaced to provide head to head coverage. Areas of turf that are between 4—8 feet may have single row spacing. Common examples of such include narrow side yards graded for drainage and right-of-ways between the sidewalk and street.
    9. A minimum separation of four inches shall be required between distribution equipment and pavement.
    10. A minimum separation of 24 inches shall be required between distribution equipment and buildings and other vertical structures, except fences. Structures that apply to this requirement are any conditioned space and enclosed structures such as garages. Porches and patios are exempt from this design standard.
    11. A functioning soil moisture sensor based controller or weather based controller that inhibits or interrupts operation of the system during periods of sufficient moisture shall be required on all irrigation systems installed after October 1, 2019 to avoid irrigation during periods of sufficient rainfall. Irrigation systems installed prior to October 1, 2019 must have technology that inhibits or interrupts operation of the system during periods of sufficient moisture.
    12. Permanent irrigation systems shall be equipped with an automatic control system to provide the following minimum capabilities:
      1. Ability to be programmed in minutes, by day of week, season, and time of day;
      2. Ability to accommodate multiple start times and programs;
      3. Automatic shut off after adequate rainfall;
      4. Ability to maintain time during power outages; and
      5. Operational flexibility to meet applicable year round water conservation requirements.
    13. Check valves which are capable of holding a minimum of a five-foot head shall be used in low-lying areas to prevent head drainage.
    14. Irrigation system equipment shall be installed in accordance with manufacturer's specifications.
    15. No direct spray shall be allowed onto walkways, buildings, roadways and drives.
    16. Pipelines shall be designed to provide the system with the appropriate pressure required for maximum irrigation uniformity.
    17. All sprinkler heads with spray nozzles (non-rotary) shall be pressure-regulated at the head and/or valve. Adequate pressure, per the manufacturer's specifications, must be achieved throughout an entire zone.
    18. All irrigation system underground piping shall have minimum soil cover of six inches.
  2. Compliance with this article shall not exempt an individual from any other local, state, or federal requirements.

(Ord. No. 2019-09A , § 6, 4-9-19)

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Sec. 77.62. - Completion of installation or substantial modification.

  1. A property owner or irrigation professional who installs an irrigation system shall conduct final testing and adjustments to achieve design specifications prior to completion of the system. A property owner or irrigation professional who installs or performs work on an automatic irrigation system shall test for the correct operation of each technology that inhibits or interrupts operation of the system during periods of sufficient moisture. If such devices or switches are not installed in the system or are not in proper operating condition, the property owner or irrigation professional shall install new ones or repair the existing ones and confirm that each device or switch is in proper operating condition before completing other work on the system.
  2. Upon completion of the irrigation system, an irrigation professional shall provide the property owner with a copy of the site irrigation sketch, modified to illustrate how the system was actually installed, and self-inspection checklist, if applicable, the date installed, the number of zones, the recommended run times post establishment, the installer's names, and the manual for the irrigation controller.

(Ord. No. 2019-09A , § 6, 4-9-19)

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Sec. 77.63. - Maintenance of irrigation systems.

  1. An irrigation professional responsible for installing or substantially modifying an irrigation system shall provide the property owner with a maintenance checklist affixed to or near the controller and accompanied by a recommended maintenance schedule, proper irrigation system settings according to season, recommendations for checking technology that inhibits or interrupts operation of the system during periods of sufficient moisture, filter cleaning recommendations, if applicable, and information on the current water restrictions.
  2. A property owner shall ensure that irrigation systems on their property are inspected at least annually for leaks, overspray, maladjusted heads, and heads that may be capped due to changes in the landscape, such as maturity or changes in plants. Technology that inhibits or interrupts operation of the system during periods of sufficient moisture may need to be replaced every few years and shall be correctly functioning to be in compliance with this article. Irrigation systems with known leaks shall not be operated until the leaks are repaired, except for testing purposes.
  3. Within 60 calendar days after installation, the property owner shall ensure that the irrigation controller is adjusted to operate according to normal, established landscape conditions or irrigation restrictions, if the irrigation system is installed as part of newly established landscaping.

(Ord. No. 2019-09A , § 6, 4-9-19)

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Sec. 77.64. - Exemptions

  1. he following are exempted from the provisions of this Article, but should follow applicable Florida Friendly Best Management Practices for Protection of Water Resources by the Green Industries:
    1. Bona fide agricultural activities;
    2. Vegetable gardens and fruit and nut trees;
    3. Athletic fields;
    4. Golf course play areas;
    5. Cemeteries; and
    6. Nurseries.
    7. Temporary establishment irrigation (as defined in section 77.03).

(Acts 2019, c. 313, § 1)

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Sec. 77.65. - Alternative compliance.

  1. An applicant may submit a proposal that varies from the strict application of the requirements of this article (also known as "alternative compliance") in order to accommodate unique site features or characteristics, utilize innovative design, prevent extraordinary hardship, or to promote the overriding public interest or general public welfare. Diminished value of property or inconvenience is not considered extraordinary hardship.
  2. An applicant seeking authorization for alternative compliance shall have the burden of demonstrating to the Department that the reasons why the strict application of the requirements of this Article should not apply.
  3. Requests for alternative compliance shall be submitted as part of the irrigation system approval process.
  4. The department may approve an alternative compliance plan upon finding that the alternative compliance plan fulfills the purpose and intent of this article at least as well as a plan that strictly adhered to the requirements of this article.
  5. The department may require a site inspection and corresponding site inspection fee for systems which are installed according to a department-approved alternative compliance plan.

(Ord. No. 2019-09A , § 6, 4-9-19)

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Sec. 77.66. - Enforcement.

Violation of any provision of this article shall be subject to penalties as provided in Chapter 24, Alachua County Code or any other penalty available at law or equity.

( Ord. No. 2019-09A , § 6, 4-9-19)

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ARTICLE VII. - HOMEOWNER ASSOCIATION FLORIDA FRIENDLY LANDSCAPING DESIGN STANDARDS

Sec. 77.67. - Intent and purpose.

It is the intent and purpose of this article to promote increased water conservation and improve water quality throughout Alachua County by promoting Florida Friendly LandscapingTM.

(Ord. No. 2019-09A , § 7, 4-9-19)

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Sec. 77.68. - Territorial jurisdiction.

This article shall apply countywide within Alachua County. The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department (hereinafter "the department") shall administer the provisions of this article.

(Ord. No. 2019-09A , § 7, 4-9-19)

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Sec. 77.69. - Deed restrictions and covenants.

  1. A deed restriction or covenant may not prohibit or be enforced so as to prohibit any property owner from implementing Florida-friendly landscaping on his or her land or create any requirement or limitation in conflict with any provision of Title 7, Chapter 77, any provision of part II of Chapter 373, Florida Statutes, or any other provision, of the Alachua County Code.
  2. A deed restriction or covenant recorded after October 1, 2019 may not require a property owner to have a permanent irrigation system on his or her land.

(Ord. No. 2019-09A , § 7, 4-9-19)

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Sec. 77.70. - Enforcement.

Violation of any provision of this article shall be subject to penalties as provided in Chapter 24, Alachua County Code or any other remedy available at law or equity.

(Ord. No. 2019-09A , § 7, 4-9-19)

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