Tampa, Florida-- Water restrictions around the bay are getting tighter, and multiple counties and municipalities have announced different plans of action.
Hillsborough officials announced Wednesday, March 6, that all residents will be restricted to watering lawns once a week starting March 13 because of below normal rainfall, reduced river levels and increasing water supply concerns.
Officials said this rule even applies to those who are not public utilities customers, and that an exception will only be made for reclaimed water customers. Those using reclaimed water are also being urged to use as little as possible.
According to the announcement, Hillsborough is not alone in receiving the new restrictions. They said the Southwest Florida Water Management District's (SWFWMD) Governing Board enacted the tighter restrictions in Pasco and Pinellas counties too.
In response to the SWFWMD's new restrictions, the City of Clearwater announced Tuesday, March 12, that they will modify their plan to comply with phase III water shortage restrictions- also effective March 13.
Hillsborough County's Plan is as follows:
As of March 13, customers must water before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m. on their designated day:
- Addresses ending in 0 or 1: Mondays
- Addresses ending in 2 or 3: Tuesdays
- Addresses ending in 4 or 5: Wednesdays
- Addresses ending in 6 or 7: Thursdays
- Addresses ending in 8 or 9, locations with no address, and locations with mixed addresses (such as office complexes and shopping centers): Fridays
Other highlights of the new restrictions include:
- Hand-watering: Residents may hand-water plants and shrubs, or use a drip irrigation system in landscaping beds, on any day - but only before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m.
- New sod and landscaping: Days 1-30, may be watered any day, before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m. Days 31-60, watered three days a week before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m.: even-numbered addresses on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday; odd-numbered addresses on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday; and common areas, mixed addresses and locations with no address on Sunday, Tuesday and Friday. An irrigation system zone can only be watered if the new material comprises at least 50 percent of that zone.
- Vehicle washing: Residents may wash vehicles once a week, on the designated watering day for the address. Commercial car washes, including mobile detailing businesses, may still operate. Fundraising car washes are not allowed.
- Pressure washing: allowed once a year for aesthetic purposes. Pressure washing for necessary purposes such as before painting or for health and safety reasons, is allowed as needed.
- Decorative fountains: limited to four hours a day.
- Homeowners associations: cannot require pressure washing, lawn replacement or other activities requiring additional water use.
Officials said the restrictions will remain in place until July 31 at the earliest.
Click here for complete information on these and other restrictions in unincorporated Hillsborough County - as well as links to information from the cities of Tampa, Plant City and Temple Terrace.
Residents may also call 813-275-7094 for a recorded message, or the Water Conservation Team at 813-272-5977, ext. 43991, during regular business hours.
The City of Clearwater's plan is as follows:
- Restaurants: may only serve water upon request
- Established lawns: All water sources (except reclaimed) may be used once per week before 8 a.m. OR after 6 p.m. If using hose-end sprinkler, both times may be used, provided no area is watered twice.
- Saturday: Even-numbered addresses (or A - M)
- Sunday: Odd-numbered addresses (or N - Z), or mixed or no street address
- Note: The allowable watering day in the City of Clearwater may differ from other water supply municipalities or areas within unincorporated Pinellas County.
- Landscape (non-lawn plants): hand watering and micro-irrigation is permitted on any day before 8 a.m. OR after 6 p.m.
- New Lawns: 60-day establishment period for new and replacement turf (sod, plug, seed, etc.), before 8 a.m. OR after 6 p.m.
- Days 1 to 30: Any day of the week
- Days 31 to 60:
- Even addresses or A - M: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
- Odd addresses or N-Z: Wednesday, Friday, Sunday
- Vehicle Washing:
- Residential - once per week on designated watering day with shut-off nozzle.
- Fundraiser events may not be scheduled after the effective date of these restrictions.
- Commercial car washes and mobile detailing businesses may operate on any day.
- Emergency and other first responder vehicles may be washed on any day as needed.
- Boats may be rinsed and boat engines may be flushed after each use.
- Fountains: Large aesthetic fountains, waterfalls, and other water features may operate four hours per day, with hours posted.
- Deed Restrictions and Community Standards Enforcement: Homeowners associations and other entities must suspend any requirement to replace lawns, pressure wash or engage in other activity which increases water use during this water shortage declaration.
- Recreation: Other than athletic play areas (golf, football, baseball and other athletic fields), all lawn and landscape areas must comply with once per week restrictions.
- Violations: Citations may be issued without a warning.
Officials said reclaimed water users may continue to water on any day before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m., and there are no changes to the Phase I restrictions currently in place for other water uses, including agricultural irrigation, golf course operations, industrial processes, or pressure washing activities.
Like in Hillsborough County, officials said these Phase III restrictions will remain in place until July 31 at the earliest. At that time, Clearwater will automatically revert to the governance of Ordinance 7802-07, unless otherwise instructed by SWFWMD.
For more information on the City of Clearwater's restrictions, you may contact the Water Conservation Hotline at (727) 562-4987.
For any other inquiries, please call Clearwater Public Utilities at (727) 562-4960.