Frequently asked questions
on District watering restrictions
Why is irrigation being limited?
Public water supply is the largest category of water use in the District’s 18-county region — about 565.5 million gallons of water a day. The bulk of this water is for residential water use, and landscape irrigation can account for more than 50 percent of total water use at residential locations. Freshwater is a finite resource in Florida, and increased conservation will delay the need to implement some expensive alternative water supplies in the future.
When can I water?
The details are listed at floridaswater.com/wateringrestrictions.
Why were weekend days chosen as watering days when that’s when many people do yard work?
Not everyone has an automatic in-ground irrigation system, and those who use hoses and sprinklers need some weekend time for irrigation. If your watering day is Saturday and you want to work in your yard on Saturday morning, try watering Saturday evening after you complete your yard work. It’s also good to remember that just because you can water on a certain day doesn’t mean that you have to water. Watch for signs of stress before deciding to water.
Why is watering restricted to one day a week in the winter?
Based on scientific analysis from the University of Florida IFAS program, healthy Florida lawns require no more than two days per week of water during the hot, dry season — less during rainy periods — and no more than one day a week during cooler weather. Additional irrigation is unnecessary and wasteful.
Is the one–day–a–week schedule permanent?
One day a week watering is allowed during Eastern Standard Time. The schedule is two days a week during daylight saving time. The schedule is available at floridaswater.com/wateringrestrictions.
Is water from wells, lakes and rivers exempt from the restrictions?
No. Restrictions apply to water withdrawn from ground or surface water, from a private well or pump, or from a public or private utility.
Can I water newly planted grass and/or plants, and can I water in fertilizers and pesticides?
Yes. Exceptions for newly planted landscaping and watering in fertilizers and pesticides are detailed at floridaswater.com/wateringrestrictions/restrictions.html.
Is the use of reclaimed water exempt from the restrictions?
The District’s restrictions allow the use of reclaimed water anytime. However, local governments are allowed to restrict the use of reclaimed water for their customers, so it is advisable to check with your local government to learn if a restriction applies.
How are the watering restrictions enforced?
Many local governments have passed, or are in the process of passing, watering restrictions ordinances that allow local enforcement of the St. Johns River Water Management District rule. Where there is not local enforcement, the District has a compliance program.
Does my city or county have an ordinance implementing the watering restrictions?
Visit floridaswater.com/wateringrestrictions/localordinances.html for a list of cities and counties that have adopted ordinances that fully implement the District’s restrictions.
What is the penalty for violating the watering restrictions?
The District is committed to educating its residents about the watering restrictions. Violators may be subject to penalties.
Local governments that have adopted an ordinance may have their own enforcement program.
How can I report an irrigation violation?
Contact information for local governments that have adopted watering restrictions ordinances is listed on the District’s website at floridaswater.com/wateringrestrictions/localordinances.html. In areas where no local ordinance has been adopted, violations can be reported to the District’s Irrigation Call Center at (800) 232-0904.
Are there watering restrictions for vegetable gardens?
Gardens are considered agricultural crops and irrigation may occur before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m., but irrigation is not subject to the day of the week restrictions. Irrigation using a hand-held hose, micro-spray, micro-jet, drip or bubbler irrigation system is allowed anytime.
Are athletic fields, golf courses, nurseries and cemeteries restricted by the day?
Many of these special use areas are required to maintain consumptive use permits, which have specific requirements related to how water is used at the sites, including the days and times that watering may occur.