Friday, 05 January 2007 00:00
WaterWritten by Valerie Alker
The City of North Port is poised to start fining residents who illegally water their lawns.
Most of North Port’s water comes from the Peace River. Dry conditions have reduced the river’s average flow by two thirds. The largest residential use of water is for lawn irrigation. So North Port Public Utilities officials are enforcing water use restrictions – with warnings and fines. Cindy Mic is North Port’s utility director.
“the first time will be a warning – giving everybody a chance with the literature and an explanation of why its important to conserve and abide by the water restrictions and the second time would be a hundred dollars fine and the third offense can range between 200 and five hundred dollars…”
Resident in North Port, Venice and unincorporated areas Sarasota county can water their lawns once a week - before 10:00 AM and after 4 PM.
Low water levels in the Peace River are leading officials to step-up enforcement of water use restrictions in the City of North Port. North Port Utility Director Cindy Mic says first time offenders will get warnings and some education about the need to conserve water during Florida’s dry season.
“a lot of times we’ll just knock on their door and explain the watering restrictions and give them the opportunity to choose the right day to water correctly. the main push for this is education. we want to educate the public on the importance of water conservation and conserving water for environmental reasons, and their pocketbooks”
Residents caught watering after they’ve received a warning will be fined. Fines start at 100 dollars and increase with subsequent violations. Lawn irrigation is limited to once a week in Sarasota County, except in communities using reclaimed water. The rules do apply to residents who irrigate with their own well water.