Suwannee district falls back Sunday to tighter watering limits


Published: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 3:32 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 3:32 p.m.

The return to Standard Time early Sunday morning means turning the clocks back an hour and cutting back on lawn and landscape irrigation for residents of the Suwannee River Water Management District.

The water district put a limit on irrigation during the winter months a year ago as part of an effort to conserve water in the 15 counties it covers.

Under the district's rules, during Standard Time residents are allowed to use water from utilities, private wells or surface water to water their lawns and irrigate only one day a week and not between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

During Daylight Savings Time, residents are allowed water their lawns twice a week.

In a news release, district officials said the rules do not apply to users of reclaimed water or water captured in rain barrels but do apply to “residential landscaping, public or commercial recreation areas, and public and commercial businesses that aren't regulated by a district-issued permit.”

John Dinges, an engineer and department director for the district, said those who choose not to comply can expect to get a letter from the district directing them to apply for a permit to exceed the limits.

“We probably send out a couple of dozen letters a year,” Dinges said, “and we usually don't get a response, but we may have heard from five people who want to apply for a permit.”

Dinges also said the winter months are not a particularly beneficial time to water the lawn.

“After a hard freeze when the lawn is brown, it is dormant so there is no need to water it,” Dinges said. “And watering your yard could also make your sidewalk and driveway slippery if it's really cold.”

More information about the district's landscape irrigation rule can be found at www.mysuwanneeriver.com.

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