Cape Coral enforcing watering restrictions amid current drought

Cape Coral code enforcement is out in full force making sure residents aren’t watering their lawns on the wrong days, as canal levels continue to decrease.

“The ones that are watering illegally, we’ll write them a ticket and take it from there,” said Dave Foley with code enforcement.

Every morning, Foley drives around Cape Coral streets looking for people not following the watering rules.

“We’re looking for people that are watering on the wrong days,” Foley said.

Since January, Cape Coral says they’ve found more than 2,500 watering violations.

“When the canals are low, even right now I have some friends that are on fresh water canals that their boats are on the mud,” Foley said.

People like Brian Sheehan are concerned about what will happen to their boats with the low water levels.

“I’m concerned when the possibility of it is that I am going to get this boat out of here,” he said.

Sheehan says he came home one day to find his boat stuck in the mud.

“It’s just getting worse and worse,” he said.

But it’s not just about the boats out on the water.

The freshwater canals that feed the city’s irrigation systems and hundreds of fire hydrants are also affected.

According to code enforcement, the first time residents break the watering rules, you’ll receive a warning. But after that, you could get hit with fines of up to $400.

While it may be annoying to some, Foley says these watering restrictions are important, especially during the current drought.

Current SWFL drought conditions via Drought Monitor

“We’re not trying to hurt anybody, we’re just trying to get people to understand you have to water when you’re allowed to water and that’s it,” he said.

Last year, as canal levels got dangerously low, the city implemented a strict one day per week watering restriction. They say now is the time to conserve water to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

The two-day watering schedule applies to all residents whether they use the city’s dual-water system or private wells for irrigation, the city manager’s office said. The watering days and hours depend on the last number of the home address.

Below is the two-day schedule in effect year-round for Cape Coral:

  • Monday and Friday: Midnight to 4 a.m. for addresses ending in 0
  • Monday and Friday: 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. for addresses ending in 1
  • Wednesday and Saturday: Midnight to 4 a.m. for addresses ending in 3 and 5
  • Wednesday and Saturday: 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. for addresses ending in 7 and 9
  • Thursday and Sunday: Midnight to 4 a.m. for addresses ending in 2 and 4
  • Thursday and Sunday: 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. for addresses ending in 6 and 8

Non-residential, duplexes and other multi-family units can water from midnight to 8 a.m. on Monday and Friday, the city manager’s office said.

Reporter:Brooke Shafer
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