By Tamas Mondovics
The Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Governing Board voted late last month to let all water shortage orders expire allowing Hillsborough County to return to its usual year-round restrictions.
Swiftmud officials said that the Governing Board allowed the lifting of the water shortage orders in response to significant improvements in aquifer and river levels as a result of this summer’s above-average rainfall.
“The region’s major public water suppliers have also been able to capture and store large supplies of water to meet the needs of residents, said Swiftmud spokesperson, Susanna Martinez Tarokh.
Those living within the District’s boundaries are now asked to observe the District’s year-round conservation measures and follow the new schedule for watering established lawns and landscaping in unincorporated Hillsborough County, as well as the City of Tampa.
County spokesperson, Michelle Van Dyke, emphasized that the restrictions apply to all residents, not just customers of public utilities and most water sources.
“The restrictions include private wells, and ponds or lakes that are used as alternate irrigation supplies, she said, adding that reclaimed water customers are exempt from the water restrictions, although these customers are encouraged to use only what they need.
Hand-watering and low-volume irrigation of plant material other than lawns or turf grass may be done on any day and at any time, while new sod and landscaping may be watered on any day for the first 30 days.
On days 31-60, new sod and landscaping may be watered approximately every other day: even-numbered addresses on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday; odd-numbered addresses, locations with no address and locations with mixed addresses on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.
All watering of new sod and landscaping must be done before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m. An irrigation system zone can only be operated if the new sod or plant material covers at least 50 percent of that zone.
For complete information on these and other water rules in unincorporated Hillsborough County, as well as links to information from the cities of Tampa, Plant City and Temple Terrace, visit www.HillsboroughCounty.org/Water.
For a recorded message about the restrictions, call 275-7094.
For other questions, call the Water Conservation Team at 272-5977, ext. 43991 during regular business hours.