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New Water Restrictions

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Email from the City of St. Pete

St. Petersburg is under Modified Phase I Water Shortage Order #2023-041, as mandated by the Southwest Florida Water Management District, effective December 1, 2023.

Due to below-normal rainfall, reduced river levels, and increasing water supply concerns, a Water Shortage has been declared by the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) for several counties, including Pinellas. The Order (#2023-041) will remain in effect through July 1, 2024, unless changed by the SWFWMD. More aggressive water shortage actions may become necessary if conditions worsen.The Order applies to properties watering with potable (city) water, water from private wells, or private connections to surface water sources (lakes, ponds, etc.).Residents should adjust their irrigation timer to ensure the settings are correct, as Restriction Enforcement Activities will continue to be enhanced.Watering is limited to once a week, effective December 1, 2023. The details of watering restrictions for St. Petersburg water customers within city limits are below.Lawn and Landscape Water Use Rules:
Watering with potable (city) water, water from private wells or private connections to surface water sources (lakes, ponds, etc.) is restricted according to property address number as follows:Addresses ending in an even number are permitted to irrigate, if necessary, on Saturday only.Addresses ending in an odd number and locations with no address are permitted to irrigate, if necessary, on Sunday only.Irrigation is allowed from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. or from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.Wasteful and unnecessary water use is prohibited. An example is using water to clean driveways and impervious surfaces.Hand watering of non-lawn landscape is allowed any day at any time, if needed.Hand watering of lawn / turf is allowed ONLY during designated watering day and times. An automatic shutoff device (AKA hose nozzle) must be installed on the hose and used at all times.Micro-irrigation (low-flow or drip irrigation) is allowed any day at any time, if needed. Water wise use is requested.Users of Reclaimed Water:
Due to continued drought conditions and limited supply issues, reclaimed water customers are asked to be “water wise” and water no more than three days per week.

Enforcement
St. Petersburg continues to enforce watering restrictions. First time violations observed by enforcement personnel will result in the issuance of a Warning Notice. Subsequent violations will result in a citation for a Class II municipal ordinance offense that is subject to a $193 fine, plus court costs. Subsequent violations are subject to higher fines as assessed by the court up to a maximum fine of $500 plus court costs.

The Water Resources Department appreciates your support in setting an example by implementing any applicable restrictions on your properties on Dec. 1st. We are available to answer any questions or receive comments; Christine A. Claus, Water Conservation Coordinator at 892-5688 or chris.claus@stpete.org and Al Smith, Water Conservation at 892-5611 or al.simith@stpete.org.

St. Petersburg Water Resources Department
1650  3rd Ave. No., St. Petersburg, FL 33713
Website: www.stpete.org/WaterConservation

New Water Restrictions in Southwest Florida: A Necessary Response to Drought

In a decisive move to combat the effects of an unusually dry rainy season, the Southwest Florida Water Management District has implemented stringent water restrictions across Tampa Bay and surrounding counties. This decision, reached on Tuesday, aims to address the region’s driest rainy season in over two decades, underscoring the growing concerns about water scarcity and conservation.

The water shortage order, encompassing 11 full counties and parts of five others, imposes a one-day-per-week outdoor watering schedule in Pinellas, Pasco, and Hillsborough counties starting next month. This measure represents a significant reduction from the typical watering allowances, highlighting the severity of the situation. The rest of the district will continue with the existing twice-per-week schedule, subject to any stricter local regulations. Notably, the order, effective from November 21, also bans wasteful water practices like unnecessary hosing of driveways.

This initiative, a Phase 1 water shortage order, is the least severe in the district’s toolkit but serves as a critical alert to the worsening conditions. Darrin Herbst, the district’s water use permit bureau chief, emphasized this during the meeting, signaling a proactive stance against potential water crises.

Tampa Bay Water, the main public water supplier for the most affected counties, supports this move. General Manager Chuck Carden noted the region’s substantial rainfall deficit and the depleting reserves in the Tampa Bay reservoir, which is crucial for the area’s water supply. With outdoor irrigation accounting for about half of the region’s potable water demand, reducing this is seen as an effective way to conserve water.

The decision, the first of its kind since 2020, reflects a shift in response timing. Previous restrictions were typically enacted in the spring, the driest season. However, this year’s order comes at a time when water is usually abundant, highlighting the unpredictability and seriousness of the current environmental conditions.

Residents are advised to adhere to the new watering schedule, which assigns watering days based on property addresses. This schedule does not include the city of Dunedin, which already follows a similar routine.

As the region braces for these changes, the focus shifts to the community’s role in conserving water. The success of these measures will depend largely on public cooperation and awareness, as Southwest Florida navigates through this challenging period of water scarcity.

  • Monday: Addresses ending in 0 or 1.
  • Tuesday: Addresses ending in 2 or 3.
  • Wednesday: Addresses ending in 4 or 5.
  • Thursday: Addresses ending in 6 or 7.
  • Friday: Addresses ending in 8 or 9, and properties with no clear address.

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