By Matt Wiley | August 31
Although the heat of the summer is still affecting the Wesley Chapel area (and with it, the usual pattern of afternoon thunderstorms), Pasco County remains on the once-per-day watering system that it utilizes year-round, despite the fact that the Southwest Florida Water Management District (aka “Swiftmud”) recently eased the water restrictions implemented last month.
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 and determined by address, between the hours of 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. — expire on July 31.
“The Governing Board 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, which include both Hillsborough and Pasco counties, and allow for more than once-per-week watering. However, once-per-week watering restrictions remain active for all Pasco County residents.
“The Utilities Department decided almost 20 years ago to keep watering in Pasco at once-per-week, year-round, explains Pasco Utilities environmental biologist Jeff Harris. “Even ‘thirsty’ grass grows just fine if watered once-per-week, plus it’s less confusing for customers to keep the same water day and time year-round. It’s good to have a consistent message for customers.”
Pasco’s current restrictions allow for watering one-day-per-week, between the hours of 6 p.m. and 8 a.m., on the specific day, determined by address. However, hand watering of shrubbery or plants can be done any day, as long as it is done between the specified hours. Decorative fountains may be turned on as long as they use and display a sign indicating to the public that they use reclaimed water. Vehicles still can be washed with potable water, as long as they are washed using a self-canceling nozzle or other device that automatically cuts off the flow of water.
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