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Stuart: Year-Round Conservation Measure Limits Landscape Irrigation to No More than Two-Days-Per-Week

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Stuart - Monday March 6, 2023: The months of March and April historically are dry seasons throughout south Florida, and rainfall numbers for February were below average.

Water usage monitoring systems are indicating water consumption has increased in the morning hours and code enforcement officials have observed irrigation taking place on days irrigation is not allowed.

The City of Stuart reminds residents and businesses in city limits to limit irrigation to no more than two days a week.

City Ordinance #2202-10, which went into effect July 1, 2010, mandates:

• Odd street addresses may irrigate lawns and landscapes on Wednesdays and/or Saturdaysbefore 10 a.m. and/or after 4 p.m.

• Even street addresses, no street addresses, or those that irrigate both even and odd addresses within the same zones, which may include multi-family units and homeowner associations, may irrigate lawns and landscapes on Thursdays and/or Sundays before 10 a.m. and/or after 4 p.m.

• Any plant material may be watered using low-volume irrigation such as drip or micro-irrigation systems, rain barrels, container or hand watering with a hose and automatic shut-off nozzle is permitted anytime.

Landscape Irrigation systems may be operated during restricted days and/or times for cleaning, maintenance, and repair purposes with an attendant on site in the area being tested. Landscape irrigation systems may routinely be operated for such purposes no more than once per week, and the run time should not exceed 10 minutes per zone.

Watering of new landscaping is permitted up to 90 days following the installation of new lawns and landscaping as follows:

• On the day new landscaping is installed, new plantings and the soil may be irrigated once without regard to the normally allowable watering days and times. Soil irrigation is also allowed immediately prior to planting.

• New plantings that have been in place for 30 days or less may be watered on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and/or Sundays, only before 10 a.m. and/or after 4 p.m.

• New plantings that have been in place for 31 to 90 days may be watered on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and/or Saturdays, only before 10 a.m. and/or after 4 p.m.

• Irrigation is limited to the areas containing new landscape only. An entire irrigation zone may be watered only if new landscaping is planted on at least 50 percent of that zone. If new landscaping is planted on less than 50 percent of an irrigation zone, only the new plantings may be watered.

City of Stuart code enforcement and police officers in conjunction with water usage monitoring systems, will be identifying and notifying offenders of the year-round landscape ordinance. Violators will be provided no more than one written warning. Penalty for the first violation is $25; second violation, $50; third and subsequent violations, $100 for each violation. Each day in violation of the ordinance will constitute a separate offense.

The two-day-a-week restrictions allow enough water to maintain healthy landscapes year-round. A healthy landscape only needs 1-inch to 1.5 inches of water per week during summer growing season and only as needed to supplement rainfall. During the winter season, when a lawn goes dormant, it requires even less.

Per the South Florida Water Management District resources, the following sprinkler system runtimes will keep lawns and landscape healthy:

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City of Stuart

Conserving water year-round is an integral part of managing and protecting water supplies for today and for our future generations.

For more information or clarification on the year-round irrigation ordinance, call (772) 600-1206.