Just because we live next to an ocean, doesn’t mean we have access to unlimited water supplies. Fresh water is one of our most precious resources. That’s why there are watering restrictions in Jacksonville and many other cities in Florida. Before you turn on the sprinkler or hose, make sure you’re up to date with the regulations.
Twice A Week Watering During Spring/Summer
Watering restrictions are enforced year-round in Jacksonville and throughout the 18 Northeast Florida counties in the St. Johns River Water Management District. You may water only on Saturday if your address ends in an odd number, and on Sunday if your address ends with an even number. You get an extra day during Daylight Saving Time (March-November). By limiting lawn watering, the hopes to conserve water during peak usage. Here’s a look at the summer schedule.
- Monday: No watering allowed.
- Tuesday: Non-residential irrigation is permitted.
- Wednesdays & Saturdays: Homes with addresses ending in an odd number or without an address may water.
- Thursdays and Sundays: Homes with addresses ending in an even number may water.
- Friday: Non-residential irrigation.
But each year, when November arrives and you set back your clock an hour for Standard Time, your watering also must do a “fall back” to watering just once a week. That’s Saturday for odd-numbered addresses and Sunday for even-numbered addresses.
Even if it’s your day to water, you may not turn on the sprinklers between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The reason? Most of the water ends up evaporating in the heat of the sun. You can turn the sprinklers on in the evening, but you could be inviting fungus and disease to your lawn since the grass will stay wet most of the night. The best time for watering is at sunup, first thing in the morning.
You can water any day of the week if you’re using a handheld device like a hose. That doesn’t mean you can turn the hose on, lay it down, and let it run. You may also use “gray water,” (recycled bath or kitchen sink water). Areas of newly established landscaping may also be exempt.
Violating the watering or fertilization ordinances can cost you. The first offense results in a written warning. A second violation could get you a $50.00 ticket while a third violation could cost you more than $250.00.
The Clean Water Act set forth by the City of Jacksonville also limits the amount of fertilizer that enters into the St. Johns River. Local retailers and property owners are also asked to be mindful of fertilizer treatments that could run off into the water supply. Required ground cover or landscaping that extends at least 6 feet around bodies of water help protect the water supply. Florida-Friendly landscaping, a program from the University of Florida Extension, stresses the use of native plants. Native plants need little water and are much easier to maintain.
The St. Johns River Water Management District supplies North Florida with more than 540 million gallons of water a day. More than half of that is used in our landscapes. By following the watering restrictions in Jacksonville, we’ll keep the taps flowing for years to come.
Have questions about lawn care in Jacksonville? Make sure to check our Jacksonville, FL lawn care page.