When It Comes To Water Restrictions, Location Matters
Water in Florida is a public resource whose use is regulated at various levels of government. Regionally, the Southwest Florida Water Management District controls water use and imposes restrictions as regional conditions and resource availability require. More stringent water restrictions may also be imposed by individual cities and counties, as needed.
Since the Tampa Water Department supplies the City of Tampa with water service and some parts of unincorporated Hillsborough County, customers who reside outside the city limits may be confused as to which restrictions apply to them.
Tampa's water use restrictions are contained in the City's Code of Ordinances. Accordingly, the jurisdiction to enforce the restrictions extends only to the municipal boundaries of the City.
The result is that water restrictions and enforcement depends on where you are, not your water provider.
Tampa’s restrictions apply to all users of all water sources inside Tampa city limits including, but not limited to, private wells, surface water, and public or private utility-provided water. Even those locations that are not Tampa Water Department customers inside the city limits still follow Tampa’s water use restrictions. Locations inside Tampa can use an address specific search tool at www.tampagov.net/water to find their watering day.
In contrast, water use restrictions for Tampa Water Department customers outside Tampa's city limits, in unincorporated Hillsborough County, are established and enforced by Hillsborough County.
Mailing addresses are not good indicators of jurisdiction. Customers unclear on where their property is located can consult their property records for their Tax District. To view communities the Tampa Water Department serve outside the city limits a map is available at www.tampagov.net/dept_Water/files/COTW_SERVICE_AREA_STR_Reduced_1.pdf.
Knowing whose rules to follow and keeping up-to-date with periodic changes in restrictions can help avoid a violation.
More information on Tampa’s water use restrictions is available at (813) 274-8032 or www.tampagov.net/dept_Water/information_resources/restrictions/. Hillsborough County’s restriction information can be found at www.hillsboroughcounty.org/water/restrictions/.
A Publication of the Tampa Water Department