It’s already been a scorcher of a spring without very much rain in the past few months. With all that heat and so little rain, new water 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, 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 water 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 determined by the last number in their addresses; all watering must be done either before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m. For a detailed chart with watering schedules, please visit Swiftmud’s website at SWFWMD.State.Fl.US and click on the “Water Restrictions” link.

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