Tampa Skyline

My Allowed Watering Days and Hours

Attention: New once-a-week water restrictions

Tampa’s water use restrictions have been in place and enforced year-round since 1992. Restrictions are subject to change in response to water supply and regional drought conditions. The Tampa Water Department publishes updates and changes to local water restrictions in media releases, Twitter, Facebook, Alert Tampa, Nextdoor, and utility customer billing inserts.  

For watering restrictions enforced outside of the City of Tampa:

What is My Watering Schedule?

The following schedule applies to properties inside Tampa city limits whose lawns and landscapes are watered with either city water or well water

Starting December 1, 2023, the City of Tampa will be restricted to once-per-week lawn watering to comply with the Modified Phase I Water Shortage Order declared by the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD), our state's regulatory agency for our region. Additionally, all wasteful use of water, like hosing down driveways or impervious surfaces, is prohibited effective November 21, 2023. These restrictions also apply to Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas counties.
 

Citations are issued on first observance by a water use enforcement patroller. Violating water use restrictions in Tampa may result in fines up to $500 and a mandatory court appearance.

Why do we have a water shortage?

The region received lower than normal rainfall during its summer rainy season and currently has a 9.2-inch regional rainfall deficit between October 2022 and September 2023. In addition, water levels in the region's natural resources, such as aquifers, rivers, and lakes, are beginning to decline. 

The Tampa Water Department is seeing an increase in water demand through the service area. Currently, our customers are using an average of 84.6 million gallons a day (MGD), compared to 80 MGD this time last year. Due to the increase in demand and lack of rainfall, the Tampa Water Department purchased water from Tampa Bay Water, our region's wholesale water supplier, for the second time this year in September.

Watering Schedule (Once-Per-Week)

Effective December 1, 2023

*Office complexes & shopping centers | **Common areas & entryways 
Address (house number) ending in... Allowed Watering Day
0 or 1 Monday
2 or 3 Tuesday
4 or 5 Wednesday
6 or 7 Thursday
8 or 9 Friday
Mixed Addresses* & No Address** Friday

Example

Example address of 1234 Main Street. The address ends in 4, so the allowed watering day is Wednesday

Additional Water Use Restrictions

  • Watering is permitted between midnight and 8am OR between 6pm and midnight, only once on your designated day. Watering is not permitted between 8am and 6pm on any day.
  • All wasteful water use, such as hosing down driveways or impervious surfaces, is prohibited.
  • Pressure washing is not allowed if the surface can be cleaned using a broom or other dry method. For example, removing cobwebs or material off a building, or removing grass clippings from a driveway or sidewalk, can be done without pressure washing. 
  • Pressure washing is allowed for necessary maintenance, such as to maintain a warranty or to remove mold, mildew, or other potentially hazardous material that cannot be removed using a dry method such as a broom. Compliance with homeowner association or other aesthetic standards does not constitute necessary maintenance.
  • Are you watering a new lawn? Follow this easy, research-based 30-day establishment schedule recommended by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS).
    • The prohibited hours of 8am - 6pm remain in place even when watering-in new sod and chemical treatments, such as fertilizers and pesticides.
    • If applied by a licensed professional, watering-in of chemical treatments may follow the 30-day establishment schedule before going back to the restricted days. Note: If you received a citation and you believe you met this exemption, please provide receipts of application along with your citation ID number to WaterPatrol@TechstaffTB.com.
    • If applied by someone other than a licensed professional, then watering-in of chemical treatments shall be restricted to the allowed days and hours.
    • The City of Tampa Fertilizer Ordinance establishes a restricted period from June 1 - September 30, when the application of lawn and landscape fertilizer containing nitrogen and/or phosphorus is not allowed.
  • You’re allowed to run your sprinkler system to check for leaks no more than 10 minutes per zone, once a week. Make sure you’re also visible from the street while you’re running it to avoid a citation.
  • Hand watering and micro-irrigation of landscapes, such as flowering plants, vines, shrubs, palms, trees, ornamental grasses and groundcover (other than lawn/turfgrass) is allowed any day and any time.
  • Hand watering of lawns is restricted to the designated day and time.
  • Car washing is currently allowed; however, it is recommended this be done above a lawn if possible so it can benefit by soaking up the water and avoid off-site discharge.
  • All hoses, whether used for hand watering or car washing, must be fitted with an automatic shut-off nozzle. Tampa Water Department customers can request a free outdoor water conservation kit which includes this nozzle.
  • Reclaimed water used for irrigation is generally not subject to our water use restrictions; however, customers must not use it in a wasteful and unnecessary manner.

Additional Resources

For rules and specific information on water use restrictions* currently in place in Tampa, please refer to the City of Tampa Code Ordinance Section 26-97 and Chapter 40D-22 of the Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.). For rules and specific information on water shortage orders and plans of action, please refer to Chapter 40D-21, F.A.C.

*Note: Local water use restrictions may be stricter than state requirements.