November 2008 Tampa Water Department News


Tampa Enforcing Regional Changes to Water Use Restrictions

Tampa is enforcing tightened water use restrictions for the establishment of turfgrass and low volume irrigation in response to extreme water shortage conditions in Tampa and surrounding communities. The additional restrictions will be enforced in response to the modified Phase III Water Shortage declaration issued recently by the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) under Executive Order SWF 08-044. Tampa will begin issuing citations for observed violations of the new restrictions on Nov. 28.

The new additional SWFWMD water use restrictions for Tampa are:

• All turfgrass renovation, including turf replacement, not scheduled prior to October 28, 2008 must be postponed until after June 30, 2009. There is no irrigation establishment allowance for replacement turf during this period. The installation and establishment of turf associated with new construction, including roads and other public works projects, is still allowed.

• Irrigation by hand watering, micro-irrigation and other low volume methods is prohibited between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. All forms of watering for turf areas continues to be restricted to designated days and times for that address. Low volume irrigation and low volume hand watering of new and established non-turf landscaping is not restricted to the day of the week.


Irrigation controller

Tampa residents are asked to review their irrigation practices and to check any timers they may have controlling irrigation on their properties. The new restrictions place a first-time restriction on the use of micro-irrigation and low-volume irrigation. Inside Tampa city limits, no irrigation of any type is permitted between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. unless it is with reclaimed water.

Locations within Tampa city limits using any water source other than reclaimed water may irrigate only on this schedule:


• Addresses ending in an even number and addresses ending A-M may irrigate during permitted hours on Tuesdays.

• Addresses ending in an odd number and addresses ending N-Z may irrigate during permitted hours on Sundays.
• Locations with no addresses, such as medians and common areas, may irrigate during permitted hours on Sundays.

Once-a-week watering and other water use restrictions have been in place in Tampa since May 2006. Continued below normal rainfall reducing stream flow in the Hillsborough River and decreased regional supply availability has resulted in an extreme water shortage condition in Tampa. To avoid the need to enact additional emergency measures the Tampa Water Department asks all residents, businesses, and visitors to voluntarily reduce water consumption and eliminate unnecessary and wasteful water use.

Tampa’s water use restrictions are enforced inside Tampa city limits 7 days a week, 24 hours a day and extend to all water sources, including well and surface water. Citations are issued on first observance of a violation; no warnings are issued. Violations of the water use restrictions may result in fines of up to $450 and mandatory court appearances.

Water use restrictions for Tampa Water Department customers residing in unincorporated Hillsborough County are established and enforced by Hillsborough County Water Resource Services. Information on Hillsborough County restrictions is available at
(813) 275-7094.

Information about
City of Tampa restrictions is available by calling (813) 274-8121 or online at A recorded summary of the restrictions is available 24 hours a day by calling the Water Conservation Hotline at (813) 274-8032. Customers located in Tampa’s reclaimed water service area can call (813) 282-7827 to inquire about service availability.

The Tampa Water Department has materials and information available to assist customers with identifying leaks, improving the efficiency of their irrigation system and calculating their water use. Customers can find this information, request free low-flow
plumbing retrofit kits and other conservation items, and find tips on how to decrease water consumption at their home or business online at


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