Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) has issued a Phase I Water Shortage Order because of prolonged drought conditions. Starting Dec. 1, residents can only water their lawns one day a week. The irrigation restrictions are for all water users in Hillsborough County.
Modified watering days and times for unincorporated Hillsborough County
Know your new watering day:
- Addresses ending in 0 or 1 can only water on Monday.
- Addresses ending with a 2 or 3 on Tuesday.
- Addresses ending with a 4 or 5 on Wednesday.
- Addresses ending with a 6 or 7 on Thursday.
- Addresses ending with an 8 or 9 and common areas with or without street addresses, locations with no addresses, and locations with mixed addresses (such as office complexes and shopping centers on Friday.
- Prevent run-off from over watering and broken or mis-directed sprinkler heads.
- Recycle water were possible.
Follow your watering day to avoid fines by Hillsborough County Code Enforcement.
All watering must be done either before 8 am or after 6 pm on your allowable day.
Reclaimed water and other exemptions
This Order effects all water use activities associated with lawn and landscape use in unincorporated Hillsborough County by use of publicly supplied drinking water, well water, ponds, lakes, and streams. The use of reclaimed water for lawn and landscape use is exempt from this Order.
Homeowner Associations (HOA) enforcement activities are curtailed through the end of February to reduce unnecessary exterior water usage as stated in SWFWMD's order, 40D-21.631.(7)(g), which includes requiring replacement of plants material to meet aesthetic standards.
Irrigation Timers and Rebates
Property owners should reprogram their automatic irrigation timers to adjust the irrigation days from twice per week to their one allowable day per week. Get free help with adjusting your automatic irrigation timer from a Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program Coordinator by contacting Will Stone at (813) 744-5519 ext. 54133 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check your eligibility to receive a rebate worth up to $250 for the installation of a qualified weather-based irrigation controller or soil moisture sensor, or alternatively, receive a device and installation free of charge, through the Tampa Bay Water Wise program.
You can visit HCFLGov.net/WaterConservation for water conservation tips and information.
Hand-watering and low-volume irrigation of plant material other than lawns or turfgrass may be done on any day and at any time.
New Sod and Landscaping
All watering of new sod and landscaping must be done during allowed hours. An irrigation system zone can only be operated if the new sod or plant material covers at least 50 percent of that zone.
- 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
Decorative Fountains, Car Washing, Pressure Washing
- The use of any fountain or water feature is allowed provided it is properly maintained and also recycles water, exclusively uses reclaimed water, or provides a necessary water quality benefit
- Car washing is allowed using hoses equipped with self-canceling or automatic shutoff nozzles, sponges, and buckets
- Pressure washing of sidewalks, driveways, patios and other impervious surfaces is allowed for public health and safety. Pressure washing should not be used to clean away materials that can be removed with a broom or other dry methods.
- Use reclaimed water for irrigation any day of the week, but it is prohibited between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM
- Use reclaimed water for irrigation of lawns, gardens, and individual plants
- Do not allow ponding or run-off from your reclaimed water system
Irrigation for the purpose of watering-in fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides must be done during allowable watering days and times.
- If a certified professional applicator has posted a temporary sign containing the date of application and the date(s) of needed watering-in activity, watering may occur on any day (within 48 hours of the time of chemical application) during allowable hours.
Alternative irrigation water source registration
Let Hillsborough County know you are using a private well or another alternative water source for irrigation at a residential or commercial property by completing a registration form.
Water related ordinances
- Water use restrictions are subject to change in response to local and regional water supply conditions.
Wasteful and unnecessary use
The following wasteful and unnecessary water use activities are also prohibited for all water sources, at all times, and for all property owners:
- Allowing water to flow from an unattended hose, unless that water is discharged from a functional water-to-air air conditioning unit, residential reverse osmosis treatment system, or similar device
- Hand watering a lawn on an otherwise restricted day or more than once a day.
- Hosing-down a driveway or other impervious surface to remove grass clippings or other debris that can be removed with a broom or other dry methods
- Hosing-down a building or other structure to remove cobwebs or other material that can be removed with a broom or other dry methods
- Allowing water to flow from a broken sprinkler head, outdoor faucet, or other malfunctioning plumbing or irrigation system component, after receiving verbal or written notice of the malfunction from the Southwest Florida Water Management District, water utility, or local government
- Allowing water to be dispersed without any practical purpose to the water user
- Allowing water to be dispersed in a grossly inefficient manner, regardless of the type of water use
- Allowing water to be dispersed to accomplish a purpose for which water use is unnecessary or which can be readily accomplished through alternative methods without water use.
More information (includes links to Tampa, Temple Terrace, and Plant City water restriction pages)
- For more detailed information on water restrictions visit the following websites:
- For questions about Hillsborough County's water use restrictions, call the Water Conservation Team at (813) 663-3295, during regular business hours
- For a recorded summary of water use restrictions, call the Watering Restriction Information Line at (813) 275-7094
- For questions about a citation or warning, call Code Enforcement at (813) 274-6600, during regular business hours
- Water Restrictions Violations and Appeals
Water use restrictions enforcement
Hillsborough County Code Enforcement regularly enforces county ordinances for year-round watering restrictions. Observed violations may result in citations starting at $100.
To report properties which are not following adhering to watering restrictions, call the Water Conservation Hotline at (813) 224-8993 or report online. Before reporting, be sure to get:
- the address where the watering is occurring
- the date and time of the violation
- the type of violation (irrigation at wrong date/time, broken sprinkler head, watering on the road/sidewalk)
Each property owner or manager shall voluntarily reduce water use and prepare for possible worsening conditions and more aggressive water shortage actions if conditions worsen. All water users have a duty to keep informed about the water use restrictions and other required actions applicable to them.