By Matt Wiley

The heat of summer is upon the New Tampa area, but with it has come the usual pattern of oppressive heat throughout the day, followed by thunderstorms in the afternoon and early evening. For this reason, the Southwest Florida Water Management District (aka “Swiftmud”) has allowed the stricter watering restrictions implemented earlier in the year to expire.

According to a July 30 release from Swiftmud, the District’s Governing Board voted to let all Phase III water shortage orders — which limited lawn watering to once per week on specific days, determined by address, between the hours of 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. — expire on July 31, allowing residents to return to twice-per-week watering.

“The (Swiftmud) Governing Board has allowed the water shortage orders to expire in response to significant improvements in aquifer and river levels as a result of this summer’s above-average rainfall,” the Swiftmud release states. “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.”

The Swiftmud year-round water conservation restrictions took effect on August 1, and included both Hillsborough and Pasco counties.

In an August 1 press release, the Tampa Water Department (TWD) announced that location addresses ending in 0, 1, 2 or 3 will now be able to irrigate on Mondays and Thursdays, while location addresses ending in 4, 5 or 6 can irrigate on Tuesdays and Fridays. Addresses ending in 7, 8 or 9, along with locations that have no address, such as common areas or business complexes, can irrigate on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

There currently are no restrictions for those using reclaimed water, micro-irrigation (or drip irrigation, which uses much less water) or hand-watering using a hose with a spray nozzle.

However, watering still is prohibited between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., which also was in effect during the Phase III restrictions that expired. These watering days apply to customers in both the City of Tampa and Hillsborough County, but watering times and maintenance allowances may differ.

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