July 31, 2012

The Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Governing Board voted to let Modified Phase II water shortage restrictions expire today for Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties due to improvements in the region’s water resources.

This means those counties will return to the District’s year-round water conservation measures unless a stricter local ordinance applies. The lawn and landscape watering schedule is limited to a two-day-per-week schedule, and most watering may only occur before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m. See the fact sheet below for a summary. Residents should check with their utilities for local restrictions before changing their irrigation timers.

The Governing Board voted to lift the restrictions in response to significant improvements in aquifer and river levels as a result of Tropical Storm Debby and regular summer rains. However, the Board urged residents to continue the water conservation practices they’ve learned during the recent drought.

“I want to commend the residents of the region for conserving water during our recent drought,” said H. Paul Senft, Governing Board chair. “But we want to remind them that just because they may be able to water two days per week doesn’t mean they need to. We can’t afford to be wasteful because water is a limited resource and we must all do our part to conserve.”

Twice-per-week watering allows residents additional flexibility for determining when to water. Residents are encouraged to water only if their lawn and landscape needs it and turn off their irrigation system if it has rained or rain is predicted in the next 24 hours. Some of the signs that a lawn needs water include a blue-gray appearance, blades folded in half lengthwise and footprints remaining on the lawn for several minutes after walking on it.

The District’s 16 counties remain under a Modified Phase I water shortage order until Dec. 31. Phase I is the District’s lowest level of water restrictions and follows the normal two-day-per-week water conservation measures. For additional information about water restrictions and water conservation, please contact your local utility or visit the District’s website at WaterMatters.org/restrictions/.

Fact Sheet

Year-Round Water Conservation Measures

Lawn Watering Days and Times

  • Lawn watering is limited to twice per week under the normal year-round water conservation measures.
  • Lawn watering days and times are as follows unless your city or county has a different schedule or stricter hours in effect:
    • Even addresses may water on Thursday and/or Sunday before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.
    • Odd addresses may water on Wednesday and/or Saturday before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.
    • Locations without a discernable address, such as rights-of-way and other common areas inside a subdivision, may water on Tuesday and/or Friday before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.
  • Handwatering and microirrigation of plants (other than lawns) can be done on any day and any time.

New Lawns and Plants

  • New lawns and plants have a 30-30 establishment period, which allows any-day watering during the first 30 days during the allowable hours.
  • During the second 30 days, watering is allowed three days per week: even-numbered addresses may water on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday; odd-numbered addresses may water Monday, Wednesday and Saturday; and locations without a discernable address may water on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.

Reclaimed Water

  • Reclaimed water remains subject to voluntary watering hours, unless restricted by the local government or utility.

Fountains, Car Washing and Pressure Washing

  • There are no restrictions on fountains, car washing and pressure washing. However, the District asks that residents be as efficient as possible, such as using a shutoff nozzle on their hose so water isn’t wasted.

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