April 2009 Tampa Water Department News

Pipeline - A Publication of the Tampa Water Department

Tampa Has New Water Use Restrictions

All uses of potable (drinking) water provided by the Tampa Water Department, inside and outside City limits, have  restrictions due to Tampa’s Emergency Water Use Restriction Ordinance as of April 3, 2009.

All locations inside and outside of City limits using City of Tampa-provided water have a once-per-week schedule for lawn and landscaping watering:

  • Hand watering of turf (grass) only once on permitted watering day within allowed hours (before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m.). Hand watering means a hose with an automatic shut-off nozzle. Hose end sprinklers are not allowed.
a. At even-numbered addresses (Example: 308) , or addresses ending in the letters A-M (Example: 303-A), only on Tuesdays;
b. At odd-numbered addresses (Example: 307), or addresses ending in the letters N-Z (Example: 302-N), only on Sundays;
c. At locations with no address, including medians, rights of way and common areas, only on Sundays;
d. Turf (grass) irrigation is prohibited at all times on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, except as specifically exempted by the Ordinance.


  • Hand watering, micro-irrigation and other low volume irrigation of non-turf landscaping is allowed on any day, if needed, but is limited to once per day and is done before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m.

  • Irrigation by any means is prohibited between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on any day.


Irrigation for establishment of new turf (grass) landscaping by hand watering only. Irrigation for establishment of new non-turf landscaping by hand watering or micro-irrigation. Please consult the Ordinance for specific watering schedules for establishment allowances.

Turf (grass) irrigation for purposes of watering-in of insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and fertilizer is also restricted to being accomplished by hand watering, and to designated day and times for irrigation for that address except for applications by a professional who is in the business of applying such products for remuneration, so long as a dated chemical advisory marker is posted on the landscape. All such watering-in must be accomplished by hand watering during the permitted hours.

The washing of automobiles, trucks, trailers, railroad cars, mobile homes, campers, boats, or any other type of mobile vehicles or equipment, is permitted provided a hand held device with an automatic shut-off valve or nozzle is used. At a residential property, vehicle washing may occur on Tuesday or Saturday at addresses ending in even numbers, and Wednesday or Sunday at addresses ending in odd numbers. Charity car washes are not permitted.

Pressure washing of buildings and other structures for maintenance and painting purposes using low volume methods is not restricted. The washing or low volume pressure washing of sidewalks, streets, driveways and other non-pervious areas is prohibited, except for public health and safety.


Outdoor aesthetic uses of water, such as decorative water fountains and features, is prohibited unless using reclaimed water. A sign stating "using reclaimed water" must be posted next to the decorative water fountain or feature. Reclaimed water is defined by Tampa Code as " water that has been produced through treatment at the Howard F. Curren Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant". Large commercial fountains have additional signage requirements; please call (813) 274-8493 for details. Citizens not in Tampa's reclaimed water service area wishing to purchase large volumes of reclaimed water from the Curren AWTP for use in their fountain or yard should contact the Treatment Plant at (813) 247-3451 for more information.


Well users, or those using any water source other than that provided by the City, inside Tampa city limits now follow Phase III water use restrictions put in place by the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) under Executive Order 08-044. Those locations may now have different irrigation days under the SWFWMD rules. A summary of the Phase III rules, including irrigation days, is available on the Tampa Water Department web site at www.tampagov.net/dept_Water/information_resources/restrictions/Phase_III_Restrictions.asp.


The City is developing a registry system that should be available online in the next week or so. In the meantime, if you are irrigating with other than city water in accordance with the Phase III restrictions and receive a citation issued on or after April 3, 2009, you will be asked to contact Tampa's Enforcement Office to certify you are using an alternative source.

Locations inside the City using a well or other non-public water supply have a once-per-week schedule for turf (grass) and landscaping watering (sprinkler systems can be used):


Addresses with “house numbers” ending in … May only irrigate on…
0 or 1 Monday
2 or 3 Tuesday
4 or 5 Wednesday
6 or 7 Thursday
8 or 9, locations with no address (common areas, entry areas), and
locations with mixed addresses (office complexes, shopping centers)

Properties may water once on their day before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m. Hand watering, micro-irrigation and other low volume irrigation of non-lawn landscaping is allowed on any day, if needed, but is limited to once per day and is done before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m.

This information is only a summary of the Tampa Emergency Water Use Ordinance and Water Shortage Order No. SWF 09-012. For complete details, please refer to the source documents. Both of these items are available online at  www.TampaGov.net/WaterRestrictions.

Reclaimed water is exempt from water use restrictions. Customers located in South Tampa can call (813) 282-7827 to inquire about service availability.

For specific water restrictions questions, visit www.tampagov.net/waterrestrictions or call the Water Department's Conservation Section at (813) 274-8121.


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