City easing water restrictions

Reporter: Alex Zequeira

Update: It's official, watering in most parts of South Florida can now be done twice a week instead of once a week.

A dryer than normal dry season was expected this year prompting the one day a week water restrictions currently in place.

But according to water managers, Mother Nature surprised everyone by dumping substantial amounts of rain in recent months. This helped South Florida's canals and water conservation areas rebound.

A measure approved Thursday will allow odd numbered addresses to water on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and even numbered addresses to water on Thursdays and Sundays.

The loosened restrictions are being made possible not only by above average rainfall but by new conservation practices.

Water managers say the publics response to one day a week watering restrictions was a good one. They also say instead of draining excess rain water out to sea after every rain event, additional water was stored throughout canals in the region.

But relaxed restrictions will not affect all of South Florida. West Palm Beach, Palm Beach, South Palm Beach, Lantana, Lake Worth and communities surrounding Lake Okeechobee will still remain under one day a week restrictions because, despite increased rainfall, Lake O levels are still four feet below normal levels for this time of year.

For the areas affected by the new restrictions: Twice a week watering will begin on April 18.  South Florida Water Management District officials are also looking at implementing the new restrictions year-round, to continue conservation efforts.

Previously: Prepare to wipe the dust off those sprinklers. Water managers vote to ease the one-day restrictions for just about everyone in the area Thursday, but they could also move forward with a plan that will make restrictions a permanent way of life.

Two-day a week water restrictions instead of one-day a week restrictions. But get ready because, if passed Thursday by water managers, they could be implemented year-round.

Water managers say the amount of rainfall that has fallen in the past two months has eased the drought situation throughout our area. But not everywhere though.

One-day a week restrictions will stay in place for parts of Palm Beach County where reservoirs and drinking wells are still in dire conditions. The areas are ones that draw their drinking water from Lake Okeechobee which is still four feet below the normal level for this time of year.

Here's a breakdown of the new rules if they are approved:

  • Odd numbered addresses will be able to water on Wednesdays and Saturdays
  • Even numbered addresses will be able to water on Thursdays and Sundays.
  • Times for watering have not been determined yet.
  • People who get water from West Palm Beach, Palm Beach, South Palm Beach, Lantana, Lake Worth and the communities surrounding Lake Okeechobee would remain under one-day a week restrictions.

But there is a flip side. There is also a proposal to implement these two-day-a-week water restrictions year-round which means we may never be able to water our yards whenever we want again.

No word yet on when that measure will be voted on. But, as far as the current proposal, that vote is taking place Thursday at 9 AM. If passed, the new rules will take place or take effect April 18.