New Tampa area residents might want to mark their calendars for March 13.
That’s the date newer, tighter water restrictions begin in the City of Tampa. The change calls for switching from the two-day-a-week restrictions now in place to once a week watering.
The Tampa Water Department is changing its schedule as a result of the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s recent decision to enact Phase III water restrictions throughout Tampa Bay starting March 13, said Brad Baird, the water department's director.
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The district’s decision was prompted by several factors:
- Rainfall amounts were 3.5 inches below normal in the Tampa Bay area in January and February
- The ongoing renovations at Tampa Bay Water’s C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir, which is causing the agency to rely solely on its desalination plant and regional wellfields to meet the water demands of residents throughout Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties.
As of March 13, water customers in the New Tampa area will be asked to follow a new schedule for watering their lawns. The new restrictions will enable potable water users to irrigate their lawns before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m. on their designated day. Properties can be watered in zones, but a zone can only be watered once during the designated day; not both in the morning and evening.
The rules do not apply to reclaimed water users, but they do apply to those using surface water and private wells for irrigation.
Here’s the new watering schedule schedule:End Number of Address
Day of the Week 0 or 1 Mondays 2 or 3 Tuesdays 4 or 5 Wednesdays 6 or 7 Thursdays 8 or 9 Fridays
Locations without addresses or mixed addressesFridays
The water management district offers the following information on specialty watering cases while the new restrictions are in place:
- Handwatering and microirrigation of flower beds, shrubs and other plants (other than lawns) can be done on any day, if needed, but is limited to allowable watering hours.
New Lawns & Plants
- New lawns and plants have a 60-day establishment period. On days 1-30, they may be watered any day of the week. During days 31-60, they may be watered three days a week. Even-numbered addresses may water on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Odd-numbered addresses may be watered on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. Rights-of-way and other “no address” locations may be watered on Sunday, Tuesday and Friday.
- Except on the day of installation or when sprigs are being grown, establishment watering must be done during allowable watering hours.
- Be able to supply proof of installation date upon request.
- Fountains and other aesthetic water features may only operate four hours per day. The regular hours of operation can be selected by the owner, but must be posted.
- Car washing is limited to once per week on the designated watering day for the location.
- Fundraising car washes cannot be scheduled after the effective date of these restrictions.
- Commercial car washes, including mobile detailing businesses, may still operate on any day.
- Fire engines and other emergency vehicles may still be washed on any day as needed.
- Boats can be rinsed and boat engines can be flushed after each use.
Other Water Uses
- Restaurants shall only serve water upon request.
- Other than athletic play areas, including golf, football, baseball and other athletic fields, all lawn and landscape areas must comply with the once-per-week restrictions.
Deed Restrictions & Community Standards Enforcement
Homeowners associations and other entities must suspend any requirement to replace lawns, pressure wash or engage in other activity that increases water use during this water shortage declaration.
For more information about watering restrictions in the City of Tampa, visit the water department online. Keep in mind the website reflects information pertaining to the two-day-a-week restrictions that are in place until March 13.