July 26, 2011

Residents Urged to Check Their Irrigation Systems

The Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Governing Board voted today to extend Phase I water shortage restrictions for the District’s entire 16-county area through Oct. 31, 2011, because the region’s water resources have not been replenished due to a delayed start in the summer rainy season.

The Phase I order is intended as an alert to prepare for worsening conditions. Under Phase I, residents are asked to check their irrigation systems to ensure they are working properly. This means testing and repairing broken pipes and leaks, and damaged or tilted sprinkler heads. Residents should also check their irrigation timer to ensure the settings are correct and the rain sensor is working properly in accordance with state law.

There are no changes to watering days or times in a Phase I water shortage compared to the District’s year-round water conservation measures. This means lawn and landscape watering remains limited to a two-day-per-week schedule, and residents may only water before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.

Some local governments have stricter local ordinances limiting lawn watering to one day per week or using different watering hours, so residents should always check with their local government or utility.

“Our rainy season has gotten off to a slow start,” said Lois Sorensen, District demand management program manager. “The region’s public water supplies are in relatively good shape for now, but we may need to consider stricter measures if the rest of the rainy season isn’t more consistently productive.”

When Phase I first went into effect, water utilities and their local governments were expected to review and revise their watering restriction enforcement procedures. The extension means they must continue to report enforcement activity to the District on a monthly basis.

For additional information about water restrictions and water conservation, please contact your local utility or visit the District’s website at WaterMatters.org/conservation/. To report a possible violation, call 1-800-848-0499 or email Water.Restrictions@WaterMatters.org.

 
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