Tampa imposes water restrictions by Mitch E. Perry

05/04/06

Tampa Watering Restrictions

Today the Tampa City Council voted unanimously for an emergency ordinance that imposes once-a-week watering restrictions on all citizens, effective immediately.

Brad Baird is the new Director of the Tampa Water Department (roll tape#1 o.q.�and that’s what this council does�) The Ordinance will cut back from lawn irrigation from 2 days a week to 1 day a week, and includes residents who use wells for their potable water.

City residents with even number addresses or addresses that end in A-thru-M can water their lawns only on Tuesdays, people whose addressed end in odd numbers can water only on Sundays.

However those Tampa Citizens who are a part of the STAR program, which distributes treated wastewater to businesses and residents in South Tampa for irrigation, will NOT be affected under the restrictions.

Councilman John Dingfelder encouraged citizens that because of the lack of rain in the Tampa area, citizens can moderate their usage, and not just when it comes to their lawns (roll tape#2 o.q.�or what have you�)

Councilwoman Mary Alvarez referred to the explosive growth of condomininums in the downtown and Channelside District of Tampa, and asked Public Works Director Steve Dagnault if the watering restrictions could affect these developments?

He said the City is managing the situation all right now, but said that the city is maxing out in its ability by permit to get water from its main source of drinking water, the Hillsborough River. That means the city is buying more water from Tampa Bay Water –which is expensive (roll tape#3 o.q.�rates over time� )

Dagnault also said that though over 5,300 South Tampa residents initially told the City that they were interested in the STAR program, which would allow them not to be affected by these restrictions, only 1400 actually hooked up, out of a total of 8,000 who are eligible. Councilwoman Linda Saul Sena suggested that attractiveness of that program has never been more apparent….She also asked Dagnault a question that is probably above his pay grade (roll tape#4 o.q.�laughter�)

Tampa Water Director Brad Baird said that representatives from the department s will come to residents homes and provide a water audit if so desired…To do that, or ask any other questions about the new Water Ordinance, you can call 813-274-8121

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