Watering restrictions

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

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.

The details are listed on the watering restrictions page and in the summary of restrictions.

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.

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. During the months of December, January and February, turf grass usually goes dormant, so watering every other week will suffice.

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 on the watering restrictions page.

No. Restrictions apply to water withdrawn from ground or surface water, from a private well or pump, or from a public or private utility.

Yes. Exceptions for newly planted landscaping and watering in fertilizers and pesticides are detailed on the watering restrictions page.

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.

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. For additional information about watering restrictions, please call 800-232-0904.

Pleases view the local ordinances page for a list of cities and counties that have adopted ordinances that fully implement the district’s 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.

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.

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.