TAMPA (FOX 13) - Under a new water shortage order, lawn watering allowance has been reduced to once-per-week, and only during specific hours. The changes go into effect on Monday June 5.
The Southwest Florida Water Management District announced Tuesday that the Phase III water shortage restrictions will affect Charlotte, Citrus, DeSoto, Hardee, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota and Sumter counties.
In Hillsborough County, your watering day corresponds to your house number. Homes ending in 0 or 1 must water on Mondays, 2 or 3 on Tuesdays, 4 or 5 on Wednesdays and so on. Residents are advised to check their county government website for information on their designated watering day and time.
Parts of Tampa Bay were put under a Phase I water restriction at the start of May, during which, lawn watering remained at twice a week.
Under a Phase III restriction, car washing is also limited to once a week on the designated watering day. Homeowners' associations may not enforce deed restrictions that could cause an increase in water use, such as lawn replacement or pressure washing. Micro-irrigation and hand watering of non-lawn areas are still allowed.
Bill Logan, a spokesperson for St. Pete Water Works, said with rain in the forecast, it's possible that the Phase III restrictions could be loosened, but resident should not take the restrictions lightly.
"It's a reminder more than anything else. Don't waste water. You can only water once a week becomes an acute reminder that we don't have a lot of water that's just sitting around to waste," said Logan.
Additional details regarding the watering of new lawns and plants, reclaimed water, and other water uses can be found at watermatters.org/restrictions.