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Pinellas County
Swiftmud extends water restrictions
New order allows twice-a-week watering when needed
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Pinellas County residents can water their lawns and landscape plants twice a week before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m. beginning March 1.
Pinellas County residents can water their lawns and landscape plants twice a week before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m. beginning March 1.

The Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Governing Board extended the Phase II Water Shortage order in the Tampa Bay Feb. 25; however, the new order allows up to two watering days per week.

“We are asking residents to continue to be prudent with their water use, especially outdoor irrigation, at this time. It’s important to be mindful of our water supply,” said District Chairman Carlos Beruff.

The board enacted Phase II Water Shortage restrictions Dec. 17 due to reduced river levels and increasing water supply concerns. Restrictions for lawn watering were expected to continue throughout Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties through at least March 1.

“The extended order follows a seasonal feature of Phase II, which recognizes that reasonable lawn irrigation needs may be higher in spring and summer, when days are longer and temperatures are hotter than the winter months,” Swiftmud officials said in a press release.

Phase II restrictions continue through at least July 31, depending on the amount of rainfall the area receives.

Swiftmud points out that “phase II local enforcement requirements continue to be in effect and homeowners associations may still not enforce any deed restrictions in a manner which could cause an increase in water use.”

Micro-irrigation and hand watering of non-lawn areas can be done any day, if needed. Watering by any source is allowed only before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m.

Swiftmud encourages residents to practice Florida-friendly landscaping principles and to water lawns only when needed.

“The simplest way to determine if your yard needs water is if your grass blades are folded in half lengthwise on at least one-third of your yard, appear blue-gray, or do not spring back, leaving footprints on the lawn for several minutes after walking on it,” according to the press release.

The Tampa Bay area relies on the C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir during the dry season; however, the reservoir is currently being repaired and is out of service.

Lawn watering schedule and times

Pinellas County follows Swiftmud’s watering schedule. According to information at WaterMatters.org/Phase2, the following will be in effect beginning March 1.

Lawn watering days and times for the twice-per-week schedule are as follows unless a municipality has a different schedule or stricter hours in effect. Call the phone number on your water bill if you have questions. Watering can only be done before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m.

• Even addresses may water on Thursday and/or Sunday

• Odd addresses may water on Wednesday and/or Saturday

• Locations without a discernable address, such as rights-of-way and other common areas inside a subdivision, may water on Tuesday and/or Friday

New lawns and plants

New lawns and plants have a 60-day establishment period. On days one to 30, they may be watered any day of the week. During days 31 to 60, they may be watered approximately every other day. Even-numbered addresses may water on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Odd-numbered addresses may be watered on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

For more information about water restrictions and water conservation, visit www.pinellascounty.org/utilities or visit WaterMatters.org/Restrictions.
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