ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. - Exploding growth in St. Johns County, combined with near-record high temperatures and next to no rainfall for weeks, is stressing the water table.
St. Johns County’s Utilities Director Bill Young said the water table is the lowest it's been in 35 years.
"This is an unusual time for us. We’re seeing in combination with the high temperatures and the lack of water, lack of rain. This is kind of the imperfect storm, if you will," Young said. "So we thought just to be proactive we’d go out and remind everybody the restrictions on irrigating."
The 18 counties in the St. Johns Water Management District prohibit any watering between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. any day, and allow watering only two days each week, based on your address.
- Odd-numbered houses can only water on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
- Even-numbered houses can water Thursdays and Sundays.
Young said the county is focused on friendly reminders of the rules, but St. Johns County considers the restrictions mandatory and will enforce them. A warning is be given for a first violation, but the second time a homeowner is caught breaking the irrigation rules will cost $118. An additional violation at the same address will bring a $268 fine.
Mirabella homeowner Shawn Boyle works hard to keep his lawn green.
“It’s just difficult with the restrictions the county is imposing on us. Its 100 degrees and it’s really difficult to keep our lawn green,” Boyle said. “We definitely need some rain. Without the rain, it makes it more difficult and it’s also really expensive to keep your lawn watered. It’s been up to $250 a month watering your lawn in this type of heat.”
While the mandatory watering restrictions are the same for all metro Jacksonville counties, St. Johns and Duval are the only counties that will fine violators.
If you need to water your lawn during an off day or time, you are allowed to hand water with a good old-fashioned hose.
For more information on water conservation or irrigation regulations, visit www.sjcfl.us/utilities or call 904-209-2700.
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