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Date of Issue: November 11, 2009

Water restrictions eased for Manatee

The Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Governing Board voted recently to ease water restrictions for Manatee County.

The drought, however, is not over.

“October is the first month of our eight month dry season, and has been even drier than normal,” said Granville Kinsman, the Swiftmud hydrologic data manager. “The effects of our four-year drought can still be seen in our lakes, streams and groundwater. Unless we receive above-normal rainfall this winter, further declines are expected through May.”

The county is now following what Swiftmud calls “Phase II restrictions.”

The restrictions mean:

• Lawn watering is limited to a once-per-week schedule before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m. for properties less than two acres.

Watering days are:

• Monday, for addresses ending in 0 or 1.

• Tuesday, for addresses ending in 2 or 3.

• Wednesday, for addresses ending in 4 or 5.

• Thursday, for addresses ending in 6 or 7.

• Friday, for addresses ending in 8 or 9.

• Hand-watering of isolated hot spots is allowed more than once a week.

• Large fountains can be operated 8 hours per day.

• Restaurants can serve water without waiting for a customer's request.

• Watering of new plants can take place any day for the first 30 days.

• Pressure-cleaning of buildings is allowed for safety reasons or to protect property, but not for aesthetic reasons.

• Car washing is restricted to one day per week, with residents of even addresses washing on Tuesday or Saturday and residents of odd addresses washing on Wednesday or Sunday.

Fines for violating restrictions range from $100 to $500, plus court courts.

For more information about water restrictions, go to www.mymanatee.org.

To report violations, call the county citizens action center at 941-748-4501.