Water Conservation OCU Water Division

Water Watch Program

Mandatory lawn watering restrictions specify the days when you may water.  These days depend on whether you have an odd- or even-numbered address, and the time of year. Water Watch enforces mandatory watering restrictions in unincorporated Orange County.

Details

Water Watch staff patrols areas in unincorporated Orange County seven days a week during the evening and daytime hours for violations of the mandatory watering restrictions. A warning is issued for a first-time violation, and each subsequent violation results in a $25 fine. Customers are notified of violations by a hand-delivered door hanger, followed by a letter that includes a photograph of the violation. Customers may qualify for an exception, are able to appeal the violation, and can request assistance to adjust their irrigation timer to ensure it is set for the allowable watering days. 

Important

For more information on the county’s ordinance, click here (Downloadable PDF).

Have questions?
Email: Water.Watch@ocfl.net

Need more information?
Call: 407-254-9845

FAQs

Do I automatically receive a $25 fine the first time I am issued a violation?

No. A first violation educational letter is issued without a fine.  Every subsequent violation after the initial warning is subject to a $25 fine.

How can I appeal my watering violation?

You have 30 days from the occurrence of the watering violation to appeal. Your notice to appeal must be in the form of a letter accompanied by an appeal fee of $25.  Please address the letter to: Water Division Manager, Orange County Utilities, 9150 Curry Ford Road, Orlando, FL  32825.

When and where are the appeal hearings held?

The appeal hearings are held the second Thursday of the month at 9:00 a.m. at the Orange County Utilities Administration Building, 9150 Curry Ford Road, Orlando 32825.

What if I do not win my appeal?

If the attorney who is hearing the appeal does not rule in favor of the account holder, then the appeal fee will not be returned, and the violation fine must be paid.

I recently installed new sod. Can I water without getting a violation?

Yes, but you must notify Water Watch to be exempt. New sod can be watered every day for 30 days and every other day for an additional 30 days, a total of 60 days from the date of installation.  Email the invoice for the newly installed sod or plants to Water.Watch@ocfl.net or fax to 407-254-9848. If you received a watering violation within 60 days following the installation of new sod, call the Water Watch office at 407-254-9845. Staff will void the violation upon receipt of your invoice.

Can I fertilize my lawn on a day that is not my normal watering day without getting a violation?

Yes. There is an exception to the restrictions when watering in fertilizers and pesticides. You are permitted to water in chemical treatments within 24 hours of their application.

My irrigation system is running on the wrong day, and I do not know how to change it. Can someone help me?

Yes. A Water Watch technician will come to your property at no charge and reset your irrigation timer in accordance with the watering restrictions. Please call 407-254-9845 for an appointment.

I received a watering violation, but I was checking or repairing my irrigation system. Can my violation be voided?

Yes. Please provide an invoice to the Water Watch office for the completed repairs. You can scan the invoice and email it to Water.Watch@ocfl.net or fax it to 407-254-9848.

I water my lawn from a well, lake, or pond.  Do I still have to water according to the restrictions?

Yes. Restrictions apply to water withdrawn from groundwater or surface water, from a private well or pump, or from a public or private utility.

I water my lawn using reclaimed water. Do I still have to water according to the restrictions?

No. Reclaimed water is exempt from watering restrictions.

What is a rain sensor?

Rain sensors, also called rain shut-off devices, are designed to interrupt the cycle of an irrigation system controller when a pre-set amount of rainfall has occurred. They are small devices wired to the irrigation system controller and mounted in an open area where they are exposed to rainfall.  This automatic process ensures landscapes are not watered during a storm.  A functioning rain sensor is required by law.

How much should I water my lawn a week?

Turf needs a deep soak when irrigating to promote a deep root system. Light, frequent watering is inefficient and encourages shallow root systems. Approximately ½ - ¾ inch of water should be applied during each watering event (up to 1½ inches per week).

Do the restrictions apply to drip irrigation?

No. Irrigation using a hand-held hose, micro-spray, micro-jet, drip, or bubbler irrigation system is allowed anytime.

Learn about what we are doing to help our customers become more water conscious and things you can do to reduce your water use.

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