Water restrictions for all users within the Suwannee River Water Management District (District) are in effect June 13 through Sept. 30. The District’s Governing Board voted on May 29 to adopt a Phase III Water Shortage Order in response to low water levels brought on by long-term drought.
Under the order, restrictions, and some exemptions, will apply to residential, agricultural, commercial, and industrial users within the District’s boundaries. This includes all of Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Lafayette, Madison, Suwannee, Taylor and Union counties, and portions of Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Jefferson, Levy and Putnam counties.
The restrictions mostly target outdoor water use, particularly lawn and landscape irrigation which usually accounts for half of household use. Following is a list of some of the restrictions that apply:
Lawn & Landscape Irrigation:
Watering of existing lawns and landscapes is limited to one day per week and is prohibited between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Designated watering days are determined according to an even-odd address numbering system as follows:
· House addresses ending in 0 or 1 may only irrigate on Monday.
· Addresses ending in 2 or 3 may only irrigate on Tuesday.
· Addresses ending in 4 or 5 may only irrigate on Wednesday.
· Addresses ending in 6 or 7 may only irrigate on Thursday.
· Addresses ending in 8 or 9 may only irrigate on Friday.
· Residences with no address (community common areas, etc.) may only irrigate on Friday.
While watering with sprinklers and irrigation systems is prohibited between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., watering with a hand-held hose with nozzle is prohibited between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
For new lawns and landscapes irrigation is prohibited between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and watering is limited to the minimum amount required for establishment of lawn. After the first 60 days following planting, the rules for established lawns and landscapes take effect.
Treated wastewater irrigation and irrigation for home vegetable gardens are exempt from the restrictions.
Overhead irrigation by high pressure/high volume systems is prohibited between noon and 9 p.m. No off-site application or irrigation water on non-targeted areas is allowed.
There are no restrictions on the use of treated wastewater for irrigation and on low pressure/low volume irrigation systems.
Many of the area’s farmers and producers implement water conservation plans and have retrofitted their irrigation systems to increase efficiency and reduce total water use. Systems that have been certified by an independent irrigation laboratory within the past five years prior to the effective date of a water shortage order to be as efficient as practicable or are compliant with applicable water conservation best management practices are not restricted.
Golf Courses & Recreational Uses:
Greens and tees may be watered any day but not between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Watering of fairways, roughs, and non-play areas on the front nine holes of the course is allowed on odd-numbered days but is prohibited between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Watering of fairways, roughs, and non-play areas on the back nine holes of the course is on even-numbered days but is prohibited between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Use of water for recreational purposes shall be reduced to the greatest extent practicable.
Other Outdoor/Indoor Uses:
Car washing is limited to once per week on the designated watering day for the location. Fundraising and commercial car washes and the washing of emergency and other first responder vehicles are exempt. Outside pressure cleaning is restricted to only low-volume methods. Outside aesthetic uses of water is prohibited (fountains, for example). Inside aesthetic uses of water is prohibited. Washing or cleaning streets, driveways, sidewalks, or other impervious areas with water is prohibited except to meet federal, state, or local health or safety standards.
Commercial/Industrial & Water Utilities:
Mining, manufacturing, processing plants, bottled water plants, and power companies must adhere to certain restrictions and are encouraged to reduce all non-essential uses of water. Water utilities must adhere to certain conservation measures.
To review the restrictions in their entirety, visit the water shortage page on the District’s website at www.mysuwanneeriver.com/watershortage. A variance form to request relief from one or more of these regulations is also available on the website.