Watering Restrictions

Skip a Week of Irrigation

During cooler months in fall and winter, your lawn doesn't need watering every week. It's the best time to train your yard to need less water! So only water your lawn every other week - and only if it needs it!

Click here for more information from Southwest Florida Water Management District: SWFWMD Says Skip a Week!

Modified Phase I Water Shortage

The Southwest Florida Water Management District's Governing Board has issued Water Shortage
Order No. SWF 2023-041. The order is effective November 21, 2023, through July 1, 2024.

See below for Modified Phase I Water Shortage Restrictions.

Water Restrictions  The following wasteful and unnecessary uses are prohibited, including:
  • Allowing water to flow from an unattended hose.
  • Hand Watering a lawn on an otherwise restricted day or more than once a day.
  • Hosing-down a driveway or other impervious surface to remove grass clippings or other debris that can be removed with a broom or other dry methods.
  • Hosing-down a building or other structure to remove cobwebs or other material that can be removed with a broom or other dry methods.
  • Allowing water to flow from a broken sprinkler head, outdoor faucet, or other malfunctioning plumbing or irrigation system component, after receiving a verbal or written notice of the malfunction from the Manatee County Utilities Department.

Irrigation Hours & Restrictions

  • Irrigation of existing lawns and landscaping is limited to once a day, two times per week.
  • Irrigation is only allowed before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m. on approved days.

Restrictions apply to all potable (drinking) water and all irrigation waters that come from wells, surface water sources including retention ponds, rivers, lakes, etc. Violations of this directive carry fines up to $15,000 as provided for under Florida Statute ยง373.129(5).

Watering Days by Address

  • EVEN addresses (last digit is 0,2, 4, 6 or 8) may only irrigate Thursday AND/OR Sunday
  • ODD addresses (last digit is 1, 3, 5, 7 or 9) may only irrigate Wednesday AND/OR Saturday
  • Properties without addresses may only irrigate on Tuesday AND/OR Friday

Lawn watering days and times may be different if your homeowners association (HOA) operates under a variance issued by the Southwest Water Management District. Please check with your HOA if your community has an alternative watering schedule.


Hand watering and micro-irrigation or drip-irrigation of plants, shrubs and trees (lawn areas excluded) can be done on any day of the week and at any time of the day. Lawns may be spot treated without regard to the normally allowable watering days by hand-watering by using hand held hose, fitted with a self-canceling or automatic shutoff nozzle, or a watering can or pail. Lawn spot treatment shall occur during allowable watering hours. (See F.A.C. 40D-22)


There are no restrictions on fountains, car washing and pressure washing.


Property owners should contact the Water Conservation Office at (941) 792-8811 ext 5327, or Email us to register a new landscape project and qualify for the following:

  • On days 1-30, beginning on the day of installation, new lawns and plants may be watered any day of the week, before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.
  • On days 31-60, new lawns and plants may be watered as follows: Even-numbered addresses may only water on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Odd-numbered addresses may only water on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Common areas, mixed even/odd addresses, and location with no address may water on Sunday, Tuesday and Friday. Call the County Extension Office (941) 722-4524 to receive additional information on plant establishment periods.
NOTE: All new plant material (new or replacement sod or new plants/shrubs) must cover at least 50% of an irrigation zone in order to water with an in-ground sprinkler system during the establishment period. If not, the new plant material must be hand watered following the same time of day and day of week restrictions for new plant establishment. (Example: If you purchased one flat of grass plugs to place throughout your front yard to fill in bare spots, this would not cover 50% or an irrigation zone. Hand watering would be required.)

Also, only those zones containing 50% new plant material may be watered, not the entire yard. (Example: If you had your entire front yard re-sodded, but not your backyard, only those zones covering the front yard may run during the establishment period. The backyard zones would have to remain on the regular watering schedule. Most irrigation timers have an A & B program. Program A can be set for the regular watering. Program B can be programmed for multiple days to only water those zones containing the new plant material during the establishment period.)

Failure to contact the Water Conservation Department may result in a warning notice or citation. 

Please note, receiving a Watering Variance does not qualify you for a credit on your utility bill. We do not offer discounts for potable water used for irrigation. The maximum monthly wastewater charge for residential individually metered customer is capped at 10,000 gallons of potable water consumption. To verify current utility rates, click here

A FREE irrigation and landscape evaluation is available to Manatee County residents at UF/IFAS Mobile Irrigation Lab. We encourage plantings to follow Florida-Friendly landscaping, saving you money, and conserving potable (drinking) water. Call 941-722-4524 for more information about your landscape and irrigation, or to set an appointment for your FREE evaluation.


Irrigation using reclaimed water is not subject to watering restrictions, unless blended with another water source (including potable, wells, surface water sources such as ponds, lakes, rivers, etc.). 

However, it is encouraged to voluntarily conserve reclaimed water by not irrigating between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m, and to follow current watering guidelines in Manatee County.

Irrigation using reclaimed water that is mixed with any other water source, other than straight reclaimed water (including, but not limited to, wells, ponds, etc.), is subject to the same watering restrictions listed above under "Irrigation Hours & Restrictions".