TAMPA — Hillsborough County is setting new hours for yard and landscape irrigation in the southern-central area of the county.
A ordinance, approved Dec. 16 by commissioners, restricts lawn watering to once-per-week from 8:30 a.m. to noon or 6 p.m. to midnight on designated irrigation days. Watering can only be done once per day, not during both allowable time periods.
Currently, the county follows the twice-per-week irrigation schedule under Southwest Florida Water Management District rules.
The change is intended to conserve water and maintain water pressure during high-demand periods. The county put similar rules in place earlier this year, but those requirements expired in June. The new ordinance is scheduled to be in place until Dec. 31, 2022.
The county said demand for potable water in the fast-growing region has increased over the past five years and high use during the traditional dry season resulted in low water pressure for county water customers south of the Alafia River.
Extreme low pressure brings the potential for precautionary boil water notices or could hamper firefighting, the county said.
The new ordinance could bring up to a 15-million-gallons-per-day reduction in demand for water processed at the Lithia water treatment facility, the county said. The two-year ordinance also should provide time for the county to complete expansion projects to accommodate current and future water system demands.
Under the ordinance, watering of existing lawns is allowed once per week with the days assigned according to the last number of a home’s address. Addresses ending in zero or one will water Mondays; two or three, Tuesdays; four or five, Wednesdays; six or seven, Thursdays; eight or nine, Fridays and locations with no address or mixed address numbers can water Saturdays.