FAQ: Answers about Cape Coral’s new water restrictions

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CAPE CORAL, Fla. Residents with private wells, snowbirds and others wondering when they can go back to watering their lawns twice a week have plenty of questions in the wake of an unprecedented city mandate.

Lawn-watering is down to one day a week for the first time in the city’s history, a move made in response to a severe drought and a dwindling water supply in freshwater canals. If residents don’t comply with the new rules that take effect Friday, they face fines, and city fire hydrants may cease to function.

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about the situation:

When can I water?

It depends on the last number in your address. We have the schedule here.

Does the restriction apply if I’m connected to a private well?


Does it apply if I use a hose to water my lawn?

No. You can hand-water your lawn as much as you want. The restriction only applies to automatic sprinklers.

So, let’s say I attach a sprinkler head to the hose. Can I put that on my lawn, or do I have to physically stand there with the hose?

You have to physically stand there with the hose if you’re going to water outside your designated weekly time.

What if I’ve already left for the summer and didn’t change my sprinkler timer?

Contact the city code office and they’ll send someone to reset your timer for you.

I’ve noticed the city watering medians on Cape Coral Parkway twice a week. Will that stop?

Yes. Crews have been watering twice a week because new grass was recently installed, but they’ll only water once a week starting Friday.

How long will this restriction be in place?

Until further notice. Only isolated rain is in the forecast for the next seven days. The city is in the midst of a permitting process to bring in water from a mining pit in Charlotte County, but that water won’t be accessible until the end of the month. It’s unclear if that will be enough to prompt a return to twice-a-week watering.

Is the drinking water supply in danger?

No. The city’s drinking water comes from a different source than its irrigation water. The city estimates it has enough drinking water to last 15 to 20 years.

WINK News reporter Adam Wright answered more questions via Facebook Live:

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