About Montecito Ponds

All of the ponds should be at the same height level. During the creation of the ponds, underground equalizer pipes were placed which interconnect them. The purpose of the equalizer pipes is to keep the water in the ponds at the same level.

Water Sources

Water enters the ponds in two ways:

  1. Rainwater, including rainwater runoff (via the storm sewers on the streets) and
  2. By two underground artesian wells, one emptying into pond number 2 (Well #1) and one emptying into pond number 3 (Well #2).

Water leaves the ponds by evaporation and by pumping for irrigation. Irrigation pumps are located on pond 2, pond 3 and pond 5. Typical irrigation requires the pumping out in excess of 400 gallons per minute.

When the ponds were created, it was anticipated that rainfall would be the primary source of water to maintain adequate levels.

The volume of water which enters the ponds from the wells is regulated by the Saint Johns River Water Management District and limits on it are specified in the consumptive use permit (CUP) that is issued by this government agency. The initial CUP was issued on 10 May 2006 and was transferred to Montecito CDD on 21 October 2009.

With the exception of a prolonged drought, the permit limits the addition of well water to the ponds (from all sources combined) to a volume of 30 gallons per minute. Importantly, the CUP mandates regular monitoring and reporting of both the levels and chemical composition of the water in the ponds. Notably, the volume of water that can be added to the ponds from the wells is small and alone would not be expected to keep the water levels adequately high to serve our irrigation needs on an ongoing basis.

Monitoring Water Quality for Irrigation Purposes

The water in our ponds is brackish. That is, it contains some salt (sodium chloride). As such, it cannot be used for drinking but, as long as the sodium chloride concentration is not too high (<1,100 mg/L), it can be used to irrigate our lawns and flora. If the salt concentration in the pond water exceeds 1,100 mg/L, it may damage and/or kill the grass and other vegetation if used for irrigation.

TDS is a measure of total dissolved solids, not just salts (chlorides). Other common constituents include sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfate, etal. that are included as a part of the TDS measurement. The total dissolved chlorides in a TDS measurement for Floridan Aquifer System water is normally between 50% and 60% of the TDS value. It might be slightly less for pond/surface waters depending on there proximity to salt/brackish surface water.

At the first of each month, our Onsite Amenity Center Manager takes TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) Measurements. Separate measurements are captured:

  • at each pond
  • at each artesian well

Summary Points

  • First, we must receive adequate rainfall to maintain adequate water levels in our ponds.
  • Second, the sodium chloride concentration of our ponds, is very close to making the water unusable for irrigation without the risk of damaging or killing the vegetation.
  • Third, we cannot just increase the well water inflow to compensate for the lack of natural precipitation that we may experience due of the high sodium chloride concentration in the well water.
  • Fourth, there will be challenges obtaining adequate water to irrigate the additional common areas and private lawns being created in the phase 2C townhomes development, which is ongoing presently.
Pond TDS Measurements

Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) in CDD pond water are measured on a monthly basis. The table below lists results found. Values are color coded to indicate:

  • Green – Values less than 1,000 mg/L – Safe to use for irrigation
  • Yellow – Values between 1,001 and 1,299 mg/L – Potentially harmful and should be limited use for irrigation
  • Red – Values greater than 1,300 mg/L – Water is NOT Safe to use for irrigation

Sample Date Pond 1 TDS (mg/L) Pond 2 TDS (mg/L) Pond 3 TDS (mg/L) Pond 4 TDS (mg/L) Pond 5 TDS (mg/L) Pond 6 TDS (mg/L)
03-01-2019 1100 1500 1500 1100 1000 900
02-01-2019 900 1200 1100 900 1000 700
01-01-2019 1100 1600 1600 1200 1100 900
12-01-2018 1200 1600 1700 1200 1100 900
11-01-2018 1100 1800 1700 1300 1100 900
10-01-2018 1000 1700 1500 1200 1100 800
09-01-2018 900 1600 1300 1100 1000 700
08-02-2018 800 1500 1200 1100 1000 700
07-01-2018 1000 1600 1400 1300 1000 700
06-01-2018 900 1500 1400 1300 1000 700
05-02-2018 1200 1900 2000 1400 1100 800
04-02-2018 1900 1900 2200 1600 1100 800
03-01-2018 1200 1800 2200 1400 1000 700
02-01-2018 1000 1700 1800 1400 900 700
01-01-2018 1000 1500 1700 1400 900 800
12-01-2017 900 1000 1500 1200 900 700
11-02-2017 800 900 1200 900 1000 700
10-03-2017 900 800 1200 700 900 700
09-14-2017 1000 1000 1200 700 1000 800
09-01-2017 1000 1500 1200 1400 1100 1000
08-02-2017 1000 1500 1600 1700 1100 900

Artesian Well TDS Measurements

Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) in CDD underground artesian wells are measured on a monthly basis. The table below lists results found:

Sample Date Well 1 TDS (mg/L) Well 2 TDS (mg/L)
03-01-2019 2300 2300
02-01-2019 2300 2300
01-01-2019 2400 2400
12-01-2018 2400 2400
11-01-2018 2700 2700
10-01-2018 2800 2800
09-01-2018 2900 2900
08-02-2018 2900 2900
07-01-2018 3000 3000
06-01-2018 2800 2800
05-02-2018 3000 3000
04-02-2018 3000 3000
03-01-2018 2600 2600
02-01-2018 3000 3000
01-01-2018 3000 3000
12-01-2017 2700 2700
11-02-2017 3000 3000
10-03-2017 3000 3000
09-14-2017 2800 2800
09-01-2017 2800 2800
08-02-2017 3000 3000

View Facility Manager Reports on the Ponds/Lakes

Pond Sizes & Engineering

These ponds are estimated to have 6,344 linear feet of shoreline area and a total size of 9.03 acres. The shoreline length and total area of the ponds are shown below:
PondShorelineTotal Area (Acres)
1716'0.81
21195'1.57
31333'1.84
4680'0.70
5802'0.69
61618'3.43
Total Area6344'9.03
The ponds have been constructed to engineering standards that include proper slopes and shore line stabilization which includes erosion protection and approved backfill materials such as soils with a high clay content covered within 2 inches of sand.
View PRELIMINARY GEOTECHNICAL ASSESSMENT OF LOW WATER LEVELS IN IRRIGATION LAKES