Water limitations prolonged for Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas

As the Tampa Bay area continues to suffer drier-than-normal weather, the once-weekly watering restrictions have been extended.

The Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) is extending the limits in Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas counties until July 1, 2024. Officially known as the “Modified Phase 1 Water Shortage Order,” the restrictions went into force on December 1, 2023.

According to SWFWMD, the 12-month rainfall deficit is at 7.4 inches. This is despite above-average rainfall from November 2023 to January 2024.

Last year at this time, the Tampa Water Department’s average demand was 81.6 million gallons per day (MGD). In January 2024, one month after the limitations were lifted, demand plummeted to 75.1 MGD. The Tampa Water Department praises households and businesses for adhering to the water shortage order and encourages everyone to continue conserving water.

Watering days are determined by the last number of an address.

Residents can access this portal to view their designated irrigation schedule.

Wasteful water usage, such as hosing down driveways, is also prohibited. Additional information, including instructions for installing fresh sod, can be found online.

Residents who breach the city’s water use restrictions face fines ranging from $100 to $500. Repeated offenses may also result in an obligatory court appearance.

The Tampa Water Department provides assistance to households and companies wishing to minimize their water use, such as free water-saving gadgets and water conservation workshops.

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