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You may have heard the news about the new water restrictions in Tampa because of the drought. Here is a summary of what you can and can not do and what will happen if you violate the new rules.
Irrigation of turf is only allowed by hand watering, with one hand held hose fitted with an automatic shutoff nozzle, or a watering can or pail:
At even-numbered addresses, only on Tuesdays.
At odd-numbered addresses, only on Sundays.
Irrigation for non-turf landscaping by hand watering is permitted on any day during allowed hours.
Irrigation by any means is prohibited between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on any day.
Car washing at home or by charity car washes is prohibited. You can only use commercial car washes.
Homeowners are banned from doing their own pressure cleaning.
All decorative fountains must be turned off.
The consequences for violating the Tampa water use restriction include fines that increase for subsequent violations.
$100.00 for a first violation
$200.00 for a second violation
$450.00 for a third or subsequent violation
Can I fight my water citation?
Yes. You are entitled to have a hearing on the water use violation. Hearings are held at the Edgecomb Courthouse in downtown Tampa in front of Judge Nick Nazaretian. At this hearing, the judge, the city attorney, and the water department employee who issued the citation will be present. The city employee will testify at the hearing about the violation they witnessed. After the city has presented their case, you have the opportunity to ask the city employee questions and present your own evidence.
Can I win at these hearings?
Yes. There are specific exceptions to these rules that can get the case dismissed. The exceptions are listed in the ordinance. For more information about water restrictions and violations visit the City of Tampa website.
My client was charged with Drivers License Restriction Violation, Florida Statute 322.16(1) and Failure to Display PIP Insurance, Florida Statute 316.646(1). This is when your license has some type of restriction, (learners permit or business purposes only) and you violate that restriction. In this case, they accused my client of driving not for business purposes, when he actually had proof that he was going to work. Because it was on a DUI suspension, the state attorney was seeking 10 days in Hillsborough county jail. I set the case for trial to prove to the court that my client was not violating the restriction. I was able to get the State Attorney to dismiss the case minutes before the trial. I also made a motion to the Judge to dismiss the insurance charge, which she did. My client walked out without having to pay court costs, fines, or having this charge show up on his criminal record. This may seem like a minor traffic offense to most, but it actually has serious consequences.