December 2008 Tampa Water Department News


Rule Modification Returns Tampa to Previous Landscape Establishment Allowance

The Southwest Florida Water Management District modified the requirement to postpone turfgrass renovation contained in Executive Order SWF 08-044 on December 16. There is now a 30-day plant establishment allowance for sod, plugs and other forms of turfgrass. The modified regional establishment allowance returns Tampa to the establishment restrictions in place under Tampa Ordinance 2006-104.

Inside Tampa city limits irrigation with other than reclaimed water for establishment of newly-installed turf and landscaping is permitted before 8 a.m or after 6 p.m. for 30 days beginning on the day the new plant material was installed. Watering days for the 30-day establishment period are as follows:

• For the first 15 days of the 30 day period, watering may occur on any day within allowed hours.
• For the last 15 days of the 30 day period, watering is limited to alternating days within allowed hours as follows:
   At even numbered addresses, or addresses ending in the letters A-M, only on even-numbered days of the month.
   At odd numbered addresses, or addresses ending in the letters N-Z, only on odd-numbered days of the month.

Watering during the 30-day establishment period is limited to areas containing new plant materials only. An entire zone of an irrigation system may only be used for the establishment period watering if the zone in question is for an area that contains at least 50 percent new plant material. If a zone contains less than 50 percent new plant material, or if the new plant material is in an area that will be typically not be watered by an irrigation system, only the new plant material may be watered during the 30-day establishment period by hand watering, or any method which isolates and waters only the new plant material.

The modified SWF 08-044 also specifies irrigation allowances for turf renovation actions other than turf replacement: a verticut lawn may only be watered once during permitted hours on the day of thatch removal and then a fertilizer may be watered-in seven days later, during permitted hours, to encourage turfgrass repair; following site repairs that require the removal and replacement of the same turfgrass within a 48-hour period, the replaced turfgrass may be water once during permitted hours on the day the turf is replaced and then seven days later, during permitted hours; and following overseeding of an existing lawn, no additional irrigation beyond the permitted once weekly application is permitted.

Following the 30-day establishment period, irrigation is restricted by the provisions for established landscapes. Inside Tampa city limits irrigation with other than reclaimed water is permitted for established landscapes one-day a week as follows:


• At even-numbered addresses, or addresses ending in the letters A-M, irrigation is permitted on Tuesdays.
• At odd-numbered addresses, or addresses ending in the letters N-Z, irrigation is permitted on Sundays.
• At location with no address, including medians, rights of way and common areas, irrigation is permitted on Sundays.
• No irrigation, including micro-irrigation and low-volume (hand-watering) irrigation, is permitted between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on any day.
• Low-volume irrigation of turfgrass is restricted to the designated day for the address.
• Micro-irrigation and low-volume irrigation of new and established non-turf landscaping is not restricted to the day of the week.

Tampa’s water use restrictions apply to all users of water inside Tampa city limits, including, but not limited to, private wells, surface water and public or private utility-provided water. Even those locations inside the city limits that are not served by the Tampa Water Department are required to follow Tampa’s water use restrictions.

Tampa water customers that reside outside the City limits in unincorporated Hillsborough County are required to follow restrictions established and enforced by the county. While city and county restrictions coincide in many areas, they do differ in the area of permitted irrigation days.

City of Tampa residents may review Tampa’s water use restrictions online at or listen to a recorded summary by calling (813) 274-8032. For assistance with specific questions, Tampa residents may call (813) 274-8121. Water use restriction information for Tampa Water Department customers residing in unincorporated Hillsborough County is available at (813) 275-7094 or by following the link to the County’s Web site from

For customers residing within Tampa’s reclaimed water service area now is the perfect time to get connected. Using reclaimed water helps conserve our drinking water supply. Although reclaimed water should always be used efficiently, it does not have the same restrictions, which allows customers to have a more flexible watering schedule. For more information about Tampa’s reclaimed water, log on to or call (813) 282-7827.

Be notified automatically about restrictions changes, upcoming workshops, conservation events and other Water Department information by subscribing to the Tampa Water Department's Customer Newsletter, The Pipeline, at or the Water Department Real Simple Syndication (RSS) feed available at

Tampa Water Department serves a 211-square mile area with a service population of approximately 645,000 people. The Tampa Water Department’s mission is to provide superior drinking water and reclaimed water services to its customers.

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