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What Days of the Week Can I Water My Lawn? Watering Restrictions by Florida County and District

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Laura is an freelance writer living in Florida. She has a Master's degree in English.

Florida's wildlife depends on the water supply to be there

Florida's wildlife depends on the water supply to be there

Water Restrictions in Florida by Area or County

Florida watering restrictions are in place year round for most parts of Florida. Each district has its own watering restrictions and rules. Knowing the rules for your community can save water and costly fines.

St. Johns River Water Management District

During Daylight Standard Time, you can water twice a week.

  • For odd-numbered houses, the days are Wednesday and Saturday.
  • For even-numbered houses, the days are Thursday and Sunday.
  • Businesses can water on Tuesday and Fridays.

During Eastern Standard Time, odd-numbered houses can water on Saturday, even-numbered on Sunday and businesses on Tuesday.

  • You may not water after 10 AM or before 4 PM.
  • Each zone can be watered for no more than one hour.

Note: There are exceptions for newly planted lawns and application of fertilizers and pesticides.

Counties in St. Johns River Water Management District

Alachua

Duval

Lake

Osceola

Volusia

Baker

Flagler

Marion

Putnam

Brevard

Indian

Nassau

Seminole

Clay

River

Orange

St. Johns

Suwanee River Water Management

Restrictions are two days a week during Daylight Savings Time and one day a week during Eastern Standard Time. Residents are allowed to choose the days in the week when they will water as long as they do not exceed the maximum number of days during any seven day week.

Counties in Suwanee River Water Management

Bradford

Jefferson

Suwanee

Columbia

Lafayette

Taylor

Gilchrist

Levy

Hamilton

Madison

Southwest Florida Water Management District

Phase 1 Watering Restrictions

During Daylight Standard Time, you can water twice a week. For odd-numbered houses, the days are Tuesday and Saturday. For even-numbered housed the days are Thursday and Sunday. Businesses can water on Tuesday and Fridays.

During Eastern Standard Time, odd-numbered houses can water on Saturday, even-numbered on Sunday and businesses on Tuesday.

You may not water after 10 AM or before 4 PM. Each zone can be watered for no more than one hour.

There are exceptions for newly planted lawns and application of fertilizers and pesticides.

Counties in Southwest Florida Water Management District Phase 1

*Portions of these counties

Charlotte

Hernando

Sarasota

Citrus

Highlands

Sumter

DeSoto

Manatee

Lake*

Hardee

Polk

Levy*

Phase 2 Watering Restrictions

Once a week watering only before 8 AM or after 6 PM

  • Houses ending in 0-1: Monday
  • Houses ending in 2-3: Tuesday
  • Houses ending in 4-5: Wednesday
  • Houses ending in 6-7: Thursday
  • Houses ending in 8-9: Friday
  • Businesses: Friday

Exceptions granted for newly planted lawns. This area also limits car washing to the designated watering day. Decorative fountains may only run for four hours a day and water in restaurants is only served on request. No warnings are issued at the time of infraction. Fines in place for first infraction.

Counties in Southwest Florida Water Management District Phase 2

Hillsborough

Pasco

Pinella

South Florida Water Management District

This district has a year round, two day a week restriction for watering. However, the rule is flexible to allow three days a week if the county government allows it. In this district, residents are encouraged to contact their individual county government and adhere to the restrictions imposed.

Counties in South Florida Water Management

Broward

Highlands

Okeechobee

Charlotte

Lee

Orange

Collier

Martin

Osceola

Glades

Miami-Dade

Palm

Hendry

Monroe

Polk

St. Lucie

Conserving water keeps Florida's springs safe.

Conserving water keeps Florida's springs safe.

Why Are There Watering Restrictions?

Florida, as a peninsula is surrounded by salt water on three sides. Fresh water is finite and since South Florida is basically formed from ancient coral reefs, fresh water has to be pumped in from the northern part of the state. In times of drought, Florida’s water tables can become dangerously low.

Since the largest portion of freshwater is used for irrigation, restrictions in this area save millions of gallons of water.

Florida’s increasing population and increasing suburbanization have put strains on fresh groundwater, strained the rivers and strained the fresh lakes. As tough as the restrictions are on individual homeowners, there are valid reasons to follow the restrictions in place.

Protect Florida's Eco-System

According to the Florida Department of Environmental Education half of Florida’s watering needs are covered by groundwater. This includes Florida’s agriculture, mining industry and electricity production. The water also feeds Florida lakes and springs.

How to Care for Your Florida Lawn

Some grasses are more tolerant of the extremes in weather and the poor Florida soil. Researching drought-tolerant and tough grasses may make your lawn care less of a chore.

According to the University of Florida, Bahia and Centipede grass are tough and drought resistant. These grasses also require only one or two fertilizer applications a year. Mowing grass at a higher height can also help to preserve your lawn

St. Augustine grass is the most popular type of grass in many parts of Florida. Yet, despite its name, it is not drought friendly and can be hard to maintain with the new watering restrictions and in times of drought.

Plant Florida Friendly Plants

Landscaping with native and tolerant plants can also reduce the need to irrigate. According to Florida Friendly Landscape, planting zones for the state can be divided into North, Central and South Florida. In each area, different kinds of plants do well.

The plants sold at your local greenhouse may not actually be the best fit for your yard. Go to the Florida-friendly plant database and enter your local information along with the kind of plants you are looking for. You can then locate and purchase the correct plants for your landscaping needs.

In most of Florida, handwatering lawns and gardens is still okay on any day of the week.

In most of Florida, handwatering lawns and gardens is still okay on any day of the week.

What Else You Should Know

Local city and county governments may issue even tighter restrictions than the ones listed above. Each resident should check their local, county websites or call for more information.

Hand watering is, for now, mostly unregulated. So if your lawn or plants need water in between your watering days, you can hand water with a hose or watering can.

Hand watering is a great way to maintain back yard gardens of fruits and vegetables.

Other Ways to Collect Water

Rain barrels, something many of our grandparents and great-grandparents used, are coming back into fashion. Just like their name sounds, rain barrels catch the rainwater and hold it for use in irrigation and watering.

Since Florida has high humidity, planting flowers or shrubs near a roof line can allow the morning dew and humidity that drips from the roof to water the plant below.

When you finish your icy drink, instead of pouring out the ice cubes in the sink, dump them on an outside plant or even on your lawn. The water will go to good use rather than just re-enter the sewage system for treatment.

We Can All Do Our Part

Florida is implementing these restrictions in hopes of saving the fragile Florida ecosystem. Tighter water restrictions are being discussed if the current restrictions in place do not help the water situation.

Conservation should be on the minds of all Florida residents---keeping the state both beautiful, livable and environmentally friendly.

References

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2013 L C David