Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Swiftmud imposes tighter watering restrictions

Watering restrictions have been tightened for Tampa Bay residents as the area continues to struggle through a prolonged drought.

People in Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco counties already are limited to once-a-week lawn watering. On Tuesday the Southwest Florida Water Management District's governing board made the restrictions a little tougher.

"We're really asking people to forgo doing any lawn replacement right now, but if they do, the establishment period is tightened. We're asking local governments to step up enforcement," said Robyn Felix of the agency commonly known as Swiftmud.

That means that if you do put in a new lawn, you can water every day for 30 days, and then every other day for another 30 days. People previously were allowed to water new plants every day for 60 days.

The restrictions also mean residents should:

• Do their hand watering of outdoor plants before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m.

• Turn on fountains and waterfalls for no more than four hours a day, instead of eight.

The restrictions are needed because the Tampa Bay area has suffered through about two years of below-normal rainfall, said Alison Adams, senior manager for the agency Tampa Bay Water, which requested the new measures.

She said the Alafia River is so low the agency has not been able to tap it since September, which is "just unprecedented for this time of year."

The agency has started dipping into water at the C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir in southeastern Hillsborough County, but there's a problem there too. The reservoir wall developed cracks, which limit how much water can be stored inside. The agency is suing three construction companies. But even without that problem, the region would be suffering a water shortage, officials said.

In the meantime, Adams urges people to conserve water as much as possible, especially on their lawns as the weather turns cooler.

"You don't need to water this time of year," she said.

Swiftmud imposes tighter watering restrictions 10/28/08 [Last modified: Friday, October 31, 2008 6:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pitching on no rest backfires for Erasmo Ramirez, Rays

    The Heater

    ARLINGTON, Texas — After battling through a 61/2-hour affair Sunday in Minnesota that was the second-longest game in franchise history, Rays officials were quick to decide that even though Erasmo Ramirez had just worked the 15th and final inning, they would stick with him to start Monday's game in Texas.

    Erasmo Ramirez, starting a day after closing a 15-inning marathon, struggles against the Rangers, comes out after throwing 43 pitches in 21/3 innings.
  2. Britain investigating missed signals over Manchester bomber


    LONDON — Britain's domestic intelligence agency, MI5, is investigating its response to warnings from the public about the threat posed by Salman Abedi, the suicide bomber who killed 22 people and wounded dozens more in an attack at a crowded Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, last week.

    People gather Monday at St. Ann’s Square in Manchester, England, to view tributes to victims of the suicide bombing that killed 22 on May 22 as a concert by Ariana Grande was concluding.
  3. Trump condemns killing of pair who tried to stop racist rant


    The mayor of Portland, Ore., on Monday urged U.S. officials and organizers to cancel a "Trump Free Speech Rally" and similar events, saying they are inappropriate could be dangerous after two men were stabbed to death on a train as they tried to help a pair of young women targeted by an anti-Muslim tirade.

    Coco Douglas, 8, leaves a handmade sign and rocks she painted at a memorial in Portland, Ore., on Saturday for two bystanders who were stabbed to death Friday while trying to stop a man who was yelling anti-Muslim slurs and acting aggressively toward two young women. From left are Coco's brother, Desmond Douglas; her father, Christopher Douglas; and her stepmother, Angel Sauls. [Associated Press]
  4. What major sporting event could Tampa Bay land next?

    Lightning Strikes

    We are on quite a roll as a community. First, we had a Super Bowl drop from the storm clouds into our lap. It just reaffirms the fact that Tampa Bay is great at lap. And Monday it became official: Next year's NHL All-Star Game will be held at Amalie Arena. The best in the world will be here to shoot and score. And …

    MVP Wayne Gretzky is congratulated at the 1999 NHL All-Star game, the last time the event was in Tampa Bay. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times file]
  5. How the 2018 NHL All-Star Game reflects Jeff Vinik's vision for Tampa

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There were several reasons the NHL announced Monday that Tampa will host the 2018 All-Star Game on Jan. 28.

    This was the  logo for the 1999 NHL All-Star game played Sunday, Jan 24, 1999 at the Ice Palace in Tampa Bay. (AP Photo)