Water Use Restrictions Enforcement Program

Water Use Restrictions Enforcement Program

 

Background

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.

Enforcement Office

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 applicablewater use restrictions, please call (813) 349-5014 or e-mailvar name = 'WaterPatrol';var at = '@';var domain = 'Techstafftb.com';var link = 'the Water Patrol ';document.write(link);

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 var name = 'WaterPatrol';var at = '@';var domain = 'Techstafftb.com';var link = 'the Water Patrol ';document.write(link);

. 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:  

First Citation $100 Second Citation $200 Third and Subsequent Citations Mandatory court appearance in addition to a fine of up to $450. The penalty for third and subsequent violations is assessed during the mandatory court appearance.

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.

Citation Handling

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:

  • Pay the fine online at www.tampagov.net/CivilCitations. To complete payment you will need your citation and a valid debit or credit card.
  • Pay the fine by sending a photocopy of the citation along with your payment in the form of a money order, cashier's check or personal check, payable to:  Tampa Water Department, 306 E. Jackson St., Tampa, FL 33602. DO NOT MAIL CASH and payments cannot be taken in person. To ensure timely processing of your payment, please indicate the defendant's name, address, and Citation number on the front of the check or money order. Payments received after 45 calendar days from the date of the citation will be returned, and a payment of fine plus court cost and fees must be paid to the Hillsborough County Clerk of Court.

  • The City of Tampa cannot process citation payments sent in with your utility bill. Any payment attempted in this manner will be returned to the citation recipient for proper handling and may cause delays in payment that result in additional court fees.

After 45 calendar days of the date of the citation:

  • The City of Tampa cannot accept payments after 45 calendar days from the date of the citation. Any payments received by the City of Tampa after 45 calendar days from the date of the citation will be returned, and a payment of fine plus court cost and fees must be paid to the Hillsborough County Clerk of Court.

  • Pay the total penalties by sending a photocopy of the citation along with your payment in the form of a money order, cashier's check or personal check (the defendant's name and address must be imprinted on the check), payable to:  Clerk of the Circuit Court  Attention: Civil Infractions P.O. Box 2909 Tampa, FL 33601. DO NOT MAIL CASH! To ensure timely processing of your payment, please indicate the defendant's name, address, and citation number on the front of the check or money order. Payment must be received before your scheduled court date.

  • Pay the total penalties in person by bringing the payment and a copy of the citation to the Clerk of Circuit Court ay one of the following locations before your scheduled court date:

Payments Locations

Clerk of Circuit Court
Misdemeanor / County Criminal Department
700 Twiggs Street, Room 752
Tampa, FL  33602

Monday - Friday(8 AM - 5 PM)

Clerk of Circuit Court
Brandon Regional Center
311 Pauls Drive,Suite 100
Brandon, FL 33511
Monday - Friday(8 AM - 5 PM)
    Clerk of Circuit Court
Plant City Courthouse
301 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 1071
Plant City, FL 33566
Monday - Friday(8 AM - 5 PM)

Clerk of Circuit Court
SouthShore Regional Service Center
410 30th St. S.E., Suite 126
Ruskin, FL 33570
Monday - Friday(8 AM - 5 PM)


 
 

Election to appear before a County Civil Judge:

 

If the water use for which you were cited does not meet one of the permitted uses defined in the applicablewater 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.

Mandatory Court Appearance before a County Civil Judge:

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 citationand 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)