Even though our area has received more rain in recent weeks than it did throughout the whole of spring, new water use restrictions have been issued for the Tampa Bay area, including residences and businesses in both New Tampa and Wesley Chapel.
The new restrictions, which limit water use to one day per week for 16 counties, are part of what is called a “Phase II Water Shortage Emergency,” issued by the Southwest Florida Water Management District (aka “Swiftmud”). The restrictions will be in effect until July 31, but could go on longer, depending upon the amount of rain the area receives during that period. Those in violation of the restrictions can face a fine of up to $450 and have to appear in court.
According to Swiftmud officials, the new restrictions apply not only to private residences, but also to restaurants — which are being asked to only serve glasses of water to customers by request. The restrictions even affect local drinking fountains, which are only allowed to be in service for four hours per day. In addition, homeowners associations are being required to suspend regulations that require members to use water, such as replacing lawns or pressure washing.
The single watering days per week for residences and businesses are to be determined by the last number in their addresses, and all watering must be done either before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m.
For a detailed chart with watering schedules, please visit the Swiftmud website at SWFWMD.State.Fl. Us and click on the “Water Restrictions” link.