North Pinellas County Facing Water Restrictions Amid Drought. The drought in the Tampa Bay region has worsened, forcing Pinellas County’s utilities department to announce new water restrictions for residents living north of Curlew Road. Those using reclaimed water supply are now only allowed to use the water once a week, down from the usual three days a week during the spring dry season. For addresses ending in even numbers, Saturday is the day to water, while all other addresses can water on Wednesday. Residents cannot water their lawns between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

According to a county news release, low rainfall and increased demand have used up the reclaimed water in storage. Pinellas County has moved into an extreme drought, which is the worst in over a decade, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Rainfall this year has been more than 6½ inches less than normal, making it the fifth-driest first quarter for the county in 129 years.

The reclaimed water system will be shut down for the other five days a week it’s not in use, and the restrictions will remain in place until seasonal rainfall resumes. Violating water restrictions can result in fines starting at $193, which may be doubled for subsequent offenses.

Nearly 9,400 customers are affected by the new restrictions, but pay and hours for county employees in the water department will not be affected. It is important that residents in northern Pinellas County follow these restrictions to conserve water and help mitigate the impact of the drought. TBT

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