By Brad Stager
Residents and businesses in a portion of Southeastern Hillsborough County are under new temporary irrigation restrictions enacted by county commissioners in December.
The restrictions are in effect from January 4, 2021 to December 31, 2022 and are intended to address low water pressure during peak usage times in the SouthShore service area.
A news release from Hillsborough County specifies that the temporary irrigation restrictions “apply to all within the South County variance area—not just customers of Public Utilities—and most water sources, including private wells and ponds or lakes that are used as alternate irrigation supplies.”
Irrigating established landscapes and lawns within the designated area is limited to one day weekly, which is determined by address. Irrigation is restricted to between 8:30 a.m. and 12 Noon, or between 6 p.m. and 12 Midnight.
Addresses ending in 0 or 1 can irrigate on Mondays, those that end in 2 or 3 on Tuesdays, 4 or 5 on Wednesdays, 6 or 7 on Thursdays and properties ending in 8 or 9 on Fridays. Saturdays are for locations with no address or mixed addresses, such as office complexes and shopping centers.
Reclaimed water customers may irrigate any day of the week before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.
The affected area extends from the south bank of the Alafia River, south to the north bank of the Little Manatee River west of I-75 and to Saffold Rd. east of I-75. The restricted irrigation zone’s western edge borders Tampa Bay, with the eastern boundaries going as far as Powerline Rd. in the north and with Balm Boyette Rd., Balm Wimauma Rd. and S. County Rd. 579 marking the eastern limits for most of the zone.
A small area south of 14th Ave. SE. and east of I-75 to 36th St. SE. is excluded from the restrictions, according to a map provided by the county.
All other unincorporated Hillsborough County properties remain on a schedule of twice weekly watering days and established times.
Kevin Moran, director of Hillsborough County’s Environmental Management Division, attributed the unreliability of water pressure at peak times to “the growth in the southern portion of the county, coupled with all of the houses having irrigation systems.” Moran added that conditions should improve when two water infrastructure projects are completed by December 2022.
Visit hcflgov.net to view a map or check your address for detailed watering information.