Tighter water restrictions starting next month for Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas

By Ashley Jeffery, Reporter
Last Updated: Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties have been battling dry conditions and seemingly nonstop brush fire in the last two months and according to the Southwest Florida Water Management District, the lack of rain is a key player.

“Even though it’s raining today, in the month of January and February rainfall totals are about three and a half inches below where they should be,” said Susanna Martinez Tarokh of SWFWMD.

For the first time since 2009 SWFWMD has enacted Phase III water restrictions for Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas. 

That means you can only wash your car one day a week; use your outdoor fountains for only four hours a day and only water your lawn once a week on your approved day.

“The Tampa Bay Water reservoir typically holds about 15.5 billion gallons of water and that’s offline right now because it’s being renovated, so it does become a public supply issue and that’s why they went ahead and enacted the tighter restrictions today,” said Martinez Tarokh.

And with renovations expected to continue on the reservoir, officials are hopeful some extra rain and more restriction will help save some water.

The tighter restrictions start on March 13th and will run through July 31st.

Phase one restrictions are still in place for Citrus, Hernando, Manatee and Polk counties.

Addresses with "house numbers" may only irrigate on:

Ending in 0 or 1- Monday

Ending in 2 or 3- Tuesday

Ending in 4 or 5- Wednesday

Ending in 6 or 7- Thursday

Ending in 8 or 9- Friday

Rights-of-way, common areas and other “no address” locations-Friday

* Allowable watering hours are before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m.

Landscape Watering

 * Handwatering and microirrigation of flower beds, shrubs and other plants (other than lawns) can be done on any day, if needed, but is limited to allowable watering hours.

New Lawns & Plants

 * New lawns and plants have a 60-day establishment period. On days 1-30, they may be watered any day of the week. During days 31-60, they may be watered three days a week. Even-numbered addresses may water on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Odd-numbered addresses may be watered on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. Rights-of-way and other “no address” locations may be watered on Sunday, Tuesday and Friday.
 * Except on the day of installation or when sprigs are being grown, establishment watering must be done during allowable watering hours.
 * Be able to supply proof of installation date upon request.


 *   Fountains and other aesthetic water features may only operate four hours per day. The regular hours of operation can be selected by the owner, but must be posted.

Vehicle Washing

 *   Car washing is limited to once per week on the designated watering day for the location.
 *   Fundraising car washes cannot be scheduled after the effective date of these restrictions.
 *   Commercial car washes, including mobile detailing businesses, may still operate on any day.
 *   Fire engines and other emergency vehicles may still be washed on any day as needed.
 *   Boats can be rinsed and boat engines can be flushed after each use.

Other Water Uses

 *   Restaurants shall only serve water upon request.
 *   Other than athletic play areas, including golf, football, baseball and other athletic fields, all lawn and landscape areas must comply with the once-per-week restrictions.

Deed Restrictions & Community Standards Enforcement

 *   Homeowners associations and other entities must suspend any requirement to replace lawns, pressure wash or engage in other activity that increases water use during this water shortage declaration.