Water Use Restrictions Enforcement Program
Tampa's Water Enforcement Program was created in 1993 to ensure compliance with the Water Use Restriction Ordinance passed by Tampa's City Council and to help educate and inform residents about efficient outdoor water use practices.
The city of Tampa's enforces water use restrictions on a year-round basis, 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week. Violating Tampa's water use restrictions is a
civil infraction, which results in the issuance of a citation.
If you receive a City of Tampa water use citation and believe that the water use for which you were cited is one of the permitted uses defined in the applicable water use restrictions, please call (813) 349-5014 or e-mail within thirty (30) calendar days after receiving the citation.
Tampa's Water Enforcement Office is open Monday to Friday, 8 am. to 5 p.m. to answer questions and to provide general guidance about the ordinance and responding to citations.
Please direct all questions to (813) 349-5014 or send an e-mail to . Due to high call volume, please allow up to 24-hours for a representative to return your call.
Restriction and Enforcement Jurisdiction
Tampa's Water Use Restrictions apply to all Tampa Water Department customers, both residential and commercial, inside and outside Tampa city limits.
A recorded summary of the current Water Use Restrictions is available 24 hours-a day, 7 days-a-week by calling the Water Conservation Hotline at (813) 274-8032.
To report a Water Use Violation inside Tampa's city limits call the Water Use Violation Hotline at (813) 274-8036 or report a violation online.
Schedule of Penalties
Violating Tampa's Water Use Restrictions may result in fines ranging from $100 to $450. The fine assessment per violation observed inside Tampa's city limits is as follows:
If the total penalty assessed on the citation is not paid within
45-days following the date on the citation, your case will be placed
on the docket for a hearing with Hillsborough County Circuit Court. Failure to appear in court results in a
default judgment of guilty when the case is called in court and an
assessment of fines and fees, as determined by the judge. Failure to settle any fines
assessed by the
Court may result in increased penalties up to and
including property liens.
If a citation is issued to your residence or business, you have several options in handling the citation (please note that all third or subsequent citations require a mandatory court appearance):Within 45 calendar days of the date of the citation:
If the water use for which you were cited does not meet one of the permitted uses defined in the applicable water use restrictions and you wish to contest the citation, you may elect to appear in court to present your information to the judge for a decision. We recommend that you refer to the correspondence included with the citation packet for additional information about contesting a citation.
To contest the citation your personal appearance in court is required. You will be notified by the court of your appearance date and time. Hearings are held at Hillsborough County Courthouse, 801 Twiggs St., Courtroom 31, Tampa, FL 33602. If you do not pay the fine within 45 calendar days from the date of the citation you will be notified by the court of your appearance date and time.
If you elect to contest the citation and are found to have violated the ordinance provisions referenced on the enclosed citation, s. 28.2402 F.S. requires the Court to assess an additional $40 in Court Costs for deposit into the Clerk's Fine and Forfeiture Fund. Other Court Costs may also be assessed in addition to the total penalties and the Clerk's Fine and Forfeiture Fund fee.
To request a continuation of a court date or discuss options for paying a City of Tampa water use citation more than 45 days after the citation was issued, please contact the Clerk of Court at (813) 276-2029, ext. 4325.
All third and subsequent citations require a mandatory court appearance. Your citation will indicate that you do not have the option of paying a civil penalty in lieu of appearing in court. You must appear before a county judge. You will be notified by the court of your appearance date and time.
Please note: Failure to pay the fine and fee shown on the face of the citation and failure to appear in court on the date shown on the face of the citation results in a default judgment of guilty when the case is called in court. All citation recipients receiving a default judgment of guilty for failure to pay and failure to appear are notified of the judgment and resulting fines and fees by the Hillsborough County Clerk of Court.
For more information about Tampa's Water Enforcement Program, contact the Water Efficiency and Conservation Section, at 274-8121, option #5.
(page last reviewed: 7/11/13)