Soil Moisture Sensors


Gainesville Regional Utilities, in partnership with the St. Johns River Water Management District, is conducting a trial of soil moisture sensors among residential customers who use large amounts of water for irrigation. Two groups of customers will have a soil moisture sensor and new controller installed with their automatic irrigation systems. Water usage before and after the installation will be monitored. Soil moisture sensors should help reduce water use, while maintaining healthy home landscapes.

Homeowner Education

If you use an in-ground, automatic irrigation system, you can use a soil moisture sensor to conserve water. This helps maintain our natural resources, and can also can keep your lawn and shrubs healthier, and save money on your water bill.

sensor in soil


A soil moisture sensor is buried in the soil and measures how much moisture is in the root zone. It allows your irrigation system to better match the amount of water applied with the amount needed by the plants. It allows irrigation if more water is needed or prevents irrigation if the soil is already wet from rainfall.


By not watering when your soil has enough moisture, you can significantly reduce the amount of water used for irrigation. This saves you money, and as importantly, withdraws less fresh water from our aquifer, saving it for future Floridians.




A fact sheet from the University of Florida IFAS Extension and the modules below will help you understand more about soil moisture sensors.

Module 1
Introduction to
Soil Moisture Sensors
Module 2
Operation and Installation
Module 3
Frequently Asked Questions
Module 1 Introduction to Soil Moisture Sensors Operation and Installation, Module 2 Frequently Asked Questions, Module 3

This video will give you detailed instruction on how to use your irrigation system controller. Watch the entire video below, or watch sections of the video about specific topics at Video Chapters:

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To help you enjoy your yard and manage it responsibly, has developed interactive tutorials to answer questions on many related topics. Check out their tutorials from the links below:

Florida-Friendly Landscaping Tutorials

Florida Friendly Landscaping Tutorials, No. 1 Landscaping Tutorial N. 2 Slide 3

See how much you've learned by taking this short quiz, then put your knowledge to work in your own yard.

Florida-Friendly Landscaping Quiz:


Links for More Information:

Research Results on Soil Moisture Sensors -

GRU, Water Conservation -
GRU, Irrigation Rules -
Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ -

Plant Selection and Landscape Design -

Waterwise Landscaping -

Florida's Springs -
More on Water from St Johns River Water Management District -
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