Cape Coral cracking down on illegal watering as dry weather dwindles water supply

Reporter: Nicole Gabe
Published: Updated:
Sprinklers (WINK News)

We’re in dry season and Cape Coral Code Enforcement is out in full force this year.

Each homeowner has a set day they are allowed to water their lawns. While some people follow the rules, others don’t and it could create a big problem.

“We’re going to try and catch someone illegally watering,” said Code Enforcement Officer Dave Foley, who spends his mornings making sure people aren’t watering on the wrong days.

“Everybody in the city that has sprinklers is allowed to water four hours a week on set days and set times and today, we are looking for those people that were actually cheating,” he said.

Why? There’s only so much water, says Foley. “It’s all regulated to how much we can use.”

During dry season, water levels have to be accounted for.

“You can tell when the drought goes any length of time, a month or so. The canal starts getting really low and it’s not a good situation,” said Foley.

So we drove along with him and soon enough, we caught sprinklers going off on the wrong day.

If you’re caught, the first offense is a warning. But depending on the situation, it could go from $100 to a $400 fine.

For homeowners like Tevol Smith, he says green grass brings him joy, but it’s important to follow the schedule.

“I like to go by the rules because if we don’t have water, then I won’t be able to get my yard and my lawn to look good. So it’s very important for me,” he said.

While some people are like Smith, Foley says there are others who take advantage of the system.

“There’s always going to be somebody who wants to bend the rules and that’s why we are here,” he said.

In November, Cape Coral gave out 278 water citations and 440 in December.

If you have any questions about when you’re clear to water, you can click here to see the full schedule.

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