Month: April 2017

Modified Phase I Water Shortage Restrictions


Effective Date and Areas

  • The District’s modified Phase I water shortage restrictions are in effect May 8, 2017 through July 31, 2017, except where stricter measures have been imposed by local governments.
  • These measures currently apply to all of Charlotte, Citrus, DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands, Lake, Manatee, Pinellas, Polk and Sumter counties; the portion of Gasparilla Island in Lee County; and the cities of Temple Terrace, Plant City and North Port. See below for more information on areas where stricter measures have been imposed by local governments.
  • Ocala and most of unincorporated Marion County follows the St. Johns River Water Management District’s water restrictions; however, the City of Dunnellon and The Villages remain under the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s water restrictions.
  • Levy County follows the Suwannee River Water Management District.
  • Some local governments such as Hillborough County and the cities of Clearwater, St. Petersburg and Tampa have local ordinances with special twice-per-week schedules.
  • Some local governments such as Hernando, Pasco and Sarasota counties and the cities of Brooksville, Dunedin, Longboat Key, Sarasota and Venice have local ordinances that remain on one-day-per-week schedules.

Lawn Watering Days and Times

  • Lawn watering is limited to twice per week.
  • Lawn watering days and times are as follows unless your city or county has a different schedule or stricter hours in effect:
    • Even addresses may water on Thursday and/or Sunday before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.
    • Odd addresses may water on Wednesday and/or Saturday before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.
    • Locations without a discernable address, such as rights-of-way and other common areas inside a subdivision, may water on Tuesday and/or Friday before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.
  • Hand watering and micro-irrigation of plants (other than lawns) can be done on any day and any time.

New Lawns and Plants

  • New lawns and plants have a “30-30” establishment period.
  • On the day of installation, watering is allowed on any day at any time.
  • During the first 30 days, watering is allowed on any day during the allowable hours.
  • During the second 30 days, watering is allowed three days per week: even-numbered addresses may water on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday; odd-numbered addresses may water Monday, Wednesday and Saturday; and locations without a discernable address may water on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.

Reclaimed Water

  • Reclaimed water remains subject to voluntary watering hours, unless restricted by the local government or utility.

Fountains, Car Washing and Pressure Washing

  • There are no specific restrictions on fountains, car washing and pressure washing.
  • These and other water uses should be conducted as efficiently as possible, such as using a shutoff nozzle on each hose to adhere to the general restriction prohibiting wasteful water use.

Other Requirements

  • “Wasteful and Unnecessary” water use is prohibited, including: allowing water to
    be dispersed without any practical purpose, using water in a grossly inefficient
    manner, and using water for a purpose that can be readily accomplished by other
  • Water utilities, in consultation with applicable local enforcement agencies, must:
    • Review, update and implement enforcing year-round and water shortage
    • Report information to the District regarding violations involving a Water Use Permit holder.
    • Respond to residential and other enforcement referrals made by the District.
    • Transmit enforcement data to the District on a monthly basis
    • Inform customers about the declaration, local supplies and water conservation
    • Address inquiries from the District and citizens about line flushing and
      disinfection activity.

Report Watering Violations

Use this service to report a water use violation, or you may call us at 1-800-848-0499 (FL only) and leave a detailed message.

Go to form

Contact Us

If you have additional water restriction questions, please contact us by sending an email (anytime) or by calling our water restrictions hotline at 1-800-848-0499 (FL only) or 1-800-836-0797 (FL only), ext. 2298 (during business hours).

Mailing Address

Demand Management Program
7601 U.S. Hwy. 301 North
Tampa, FL 33637

Exhibition and Events to Commemorate Polk County In World War I

 Bartow, Fla. (April 6, 2017) – The Polk County History Center, the Polk County Historical Association, the Polk County Veterans Council and the Polk County Historical Commission announce plans to commemorate the 100th anniversary of America’s involvement in World War I by honoring men and women of Polk County who served in “The Great War,” which the United States officially entered April 6, 1917.

The Polk County Historical Association’s annual meeting on June 15, 2017 at the Bartow Civic Center will feature a program on Polk County in World War I. Tickets for this event can be purchased at the Polk County History Center.

The Polk County History Center will open an exhibition Nov. 11, 2017 that will feature short biographical profiles of Polk residents who served in World War I. The exhibit will include:

  • A collection of original letters written by local soldiers, addressed to the Bartow Drug Co., to let their friends back home know where they were stationed and how they were doing.
  • Reproductions of 1917 articles from the local newspaper “The Courier Informant,” listing the men from Polk that were selected to leave for military training.
  • An informative history of the local division of the Florida National Guard, the 2nd Florida Regiment. Once the 2nd Florida Regiment was at Camp Wheeler, Georgia, they were consolidated with other troops and designated as the 124th Infantry, assigned to the 31st Division, also known as the Dixie Division.
  • Bios and achievements of Polk dignitaries that played a crucial role in WWI – including General (then Captain) James Van Fleet, Lieutenant General (then Major) Albert Blanding, U.S. Senator (then 1st Lieutenant and Judge Advocate General) Spessard Holland and Dr. Knowles Oglesby, the first Bartow native to be killed in action during the war.
  • Photographs from the archives showing Polk people and places during the war, and many never-before-displayed WWI artifacts.

The Polk County Veterans Council will highlight the commemoration with the dedication of a new World War I memorial monument at Lakeland Veterans Memorial Park at 150 Lake Beulah Drive in Lakeland on Nov. 11, 2017.

The Polk County Historical Commission will coordinate a day at historic Oakhill Cemetery, Bartow to clean headstones of World War I Veterans. The day will include a memorial program to honor the veterans of WWI.

About the Polk County History Center: The Polk County History Center is located at 100 E. Main St. in Bartow and is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. or call (863) 534-4386 for more information on exhibits and programming. All events and programming are free and open to the public.

April Happenings at the History Center

Bartow, Fla. (April 3, 2017) – Journey into Polk history this month at the Polk County History Center. The following programs and events are open to the public and free of charge:

  • April’s Family Program – Curators of Curiosity – All Month – Polk’s Historic Schools

o   Discover more about the development of early schools in Polk. Can you guess where students attended school before school houses were built or how one school in Polk is connected to Gainesville’s University of Florida? Go on a hunt at the History Center to learn more and see what you can discover about your own school in the Historical and Genealogical Library.

  • April 15 , 11 a.m. – Architectural Tour

o   Join us for a family friendly architectural tour of the History Center and learn more about neoclassical architecture, the construction of the building and the stories behind the iconic Old Polk County Courthouse with special emphasis on the original floor plans where the different offices were historically located. The architectural tour is on the third Saturday of each month at 11 a.m.

  • April 18 , 12:15 to 1 p.m. – Lunch and LearnAfrican-American Education in the Jim Crow South

o   Join the Polk County History Center as we welcome local historian Dean McCracken to share his research on Polk’s Rosenwald Schools. Featured by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Rosenwald Schools, founded by Booker T. Washington of the Tuskegee Institute and Julius Rosenwald, philanthropist and president of Sears Roebuck and Co., were state-of-the art schools for African-American children across the South. Occurring during the reign of Jim Crow Laws and segregation, the effort has been called the most important initiative to advance black education in the early 20th century. The cities of Bartow, Winter Haven, Lake Alfred and Haines City each have been identified as having contained a school that benefited from the Rosenwald program.

o   Book Club recommended reading for the month of April is, “You Need a Schoolhouse: Booker T. Washington, Julius Rosenwald, and the Building of Schools for the Segregated South,” by Stephanie Deutsch. The book is a fascinating glimpse into the partnership that would bring thousands of modern schoolhouses to African-American communities in the rural South in the era leading up to the civil rights movement.

  • April 30, 4 p.m. – Socrum Historical Marker Dedication and Unveiling Ceremony

o   In a partnership between Bethel Baptist Church, the Kathleen Area Historical Society, Friends of Socrum and the Polk County Historical Commission, a historical marker for the community of Socrum will be unveiled on the site of the 1927-29 sanctuary of Bethel Baptist Church, located at 3125 West Socrum Loop Road in north Lakeland. The ceremony will celebrate and preserve both the history of the Socrum community, which pre-dates the creation of Polk County in 1861, and of the church which was formally established in 1863.

  • New Permanent Exhibits

o   Polk at Play

Our newest permanent exhibit, Polk at Play, features a vintage display of recreational, professional and preparatory sports artifacts.

Sports have always been part of Polk’s culture and heritage. Whether played competitively or socially, Polk has offered up a wide array of sporting activities. The pleasant year-round climate was perfect for outdoor activities such as lawn bowling, field hockey, swimming, golf and tennis. U.S. Olympic medalists and professional athletes’ stories and successes have captured our collective memory and are still celebrated today.

Artifacts include sporting equipment and yearbook photos from local schools, golf clubs and bathing suits from the 1910s and an official game ball presented to Bartow’s Ken Riley, who played for the Cincinnati Bengals from 1969 – 1983, including their Super Bowl XVI game against the San Francisco 49ers in 1981.

o   History & Heritage Trail

Explore the new digital component of the trail in the community gallery. Installed this year, the information kiosk will allow guests to explore the more than 300 sites of the trail, discovering more about the site and providing archival images related to the site. The kiosk is an ever growing database. Each month new sites and cities will be added. Eventually, we hope to see this station replicated at significant destinations across the county, especially for our heritage partners.

About the Polk County History Center: The Polk County History Center is located at 100 E. Main St. in Bartow and is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Visit or call(863) 534-4386 for more information on exhibits and programming. All events and programming are free and open to the public.

Polk County Officials Issue Burn Ban

Bartow, Fla. (March 31, 2017) — Polk County has experienced dry weather conditions for an extensive period of time due to the lack of rainfall, therefore Polk County Fire Rescue has issued a burn ban.

The increase in risk of brush fires and uncontrolled fires are a threat to the public health, safety and general welfare of Polk County. There are also no signs of abatement of these dangerous fire conditions in the near future.

The burn ban includes, but not limited to:

1.     Campfires

2.     Bonfires

3.     Unpermitted controlled burns

4.     Burning of yard and household trash

5.     Burning of construction debris

6.     Burning of organic debris

7.     Igniting of fireworks

8.     Noncommercial burning of material other than for religious or ceremonial purposes which is not contained in a barbecue grill or barbecue pit and the total fuel area does not exceed 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet in height.  

“We have held off as long as we possibly can on issuing this burn ban,” said Fire Chief Anthony Stravino. “But conditions are favorable for the rapid development and spread of brush fires and we need to take every step necessary to ensure the safety of everyone. We also don’t want anyone to lose property or investments due to fire.”

More than 50 percent of Polk County is averaging over 500 on the Keetch-Byram Drout Index (KBDI). The KBDI index is used as an indicator to determine the likelihood and severity of brush fires. The scale begins at zero, which is no danger and rises to 800, which is extreme danger. As a rule of thumb, fire officials become concerned any time the scale goes above 500 for 50 percent of the county.  

While high KBDI values are an indication that conditions are favorable for the occurrence and spread of wildfires, drought is not by itself a prerequisite for such fires. Other weather factors, such as wind, temperature, relative humidity and atmospheric stability, play a major role in determining the actual fire danger.

The burn ban applies to all unincorporated Polk and the following municipalities:  Auburndale, Bartow, Davenport, Eagle Lake, Fort Meade, Haines City, Hillcrest Heights, Lake Alfred, Lake Hamilton, Mulberry, Polk City, Lakeland and Dundee.

“Any person who refuses to comply or violates this burn ban shall be in violation of County Ordinance 08-015, and can be punished by a fine not to exceed $500 or by imprisonment by a term not to exceed 60 days in the county jail or both.”