Laws & Ordinances:
"Xeriscape" Ordinances

Please note that this information is not comprehensive. Changes may occur at any time. The following information, some furnished by Tampa Bay Water, is accurate to the best of our knowledge.

For water restriction information, see the Water Restriction Information page.

For "Xeriscape" Ordinance information, including irrigation regulations, see below:

Citrus County

"Xeriscape" Ordinance effective September 28, 1999.

These requirements are not an ordinance, but an administrative regulation to promote Florida Yards & Neighborhoods (FYN), Environmental Landscape Management (ELM) and Best Management Practices (BMP) in the County's turf management practices. Requires County personnel and commercial maintenance contractors to be trained in FYN principles.

  1. All irrigation delivery systems will be calibrated and timed to deliver 3/4 to 1 inch of water per irrigation.
  2. Automatic systems will have a rain cut-off device installed, tested and maintained.

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Hernando County

"Xeriscape" Ordinance effective June, 2001.

  1. Commercial: Spacing of irrigation heads shall not exceed 55% of coverage diameter. Residential not addressed.
  2. Commercial: No more than 50% of landscaping shall be a high water use zone. Residential: No more than 75% of landscaping shall be a high water use zone.
  3. Commercial: Nozzle sizes shall match the water application rate of the zone. Sprays, rotors and low-volume emitters shall have consistent application rates within each control valve circuit. Residential: If an automatic irrigation system is installed, turfgrass shall be irrigated separately from the landscaping.
  4. Commercial: All irrigation systems shall be designed to avoid overspray, runoff, low head drainage, or other similar conditions where water flows onto or over adjacent property, non-irrigated areas, walks, roadways or structures. Residential not addressed.

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Hillsborough County

"Xeriscape" Ordinance anticipated 1st public hearing - May 13, 2002. Anticipated 2nd hearing and adoption June 20, 2002.

Summary of existing proposal:

  1. Spacing of irrigation heads shall not exceed 55% of coverage diameter
  2. Hydro-zoning requirements refer directly to FIS standards.
  3. Sprays & rotors shall not be combined on the same control valve circuit
  4. Sprays & rotors shall have matching application rates within each irrigation zone
  5. All irrigation systems shall be designed to avoid overspray, runoff, low head drainage, or other similar conditions where water flows onto or over adjacent property, non-irrigated areas, walks, roadways or structures.
  6. Irrigation control equipment shall include an automatic irrigation controller having program flexibility such as repeat cycles and multiple program capabilities. Automatic irrigation controller(s) shall have battery backup to retain the irrigation program(s).
  7. Automatic control systems shall be equipped with an operable rain sensor device.
  8. A maximum of 50% greenspace may be planted with turfgrass configured with a permanent irrigation system. Turfgrass planted in excess of this limitation shall not have a permanent irrigation system. Micro-irrigation shall not be used on turfgrass.

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Pasco County

"Xeriscape" Ordinance adopted February 26, 2002 - effective February 26, 2002.

  1. Spacing of irrigation heads shall not exceed 55% of coverage diameter
  2. The irrigation system should be designed to accommodate separate landscape plant zones based on differing water requirements. Turf areas should be on separate irrigation zones from other landscape plant zones.
  3. Sprays & rotors shall not be combined on the same control valve circuit
  4. Sprays & rotors shall have matching application rates within each irrigation zone
  5. All irrigation systems shall be designed to avoid overspray, runoff, low head drainage, or other similar conditions where water flows onto or over adjacent property, non-irrigated areas, walks, roadways or structures.
  6. Irrigation control equipment shall include an automatic irrigation controller having program flexibility such as repeat cycles and multiple program capabilities. Automatic irrigation controller(s) shall have battery backup to retain the irrigation program(s).
  7. Automatic control systems shall be equipped with an operable rain sensor device.
  8. A maximum of 50% of the greenspace allowed to use irrigation techniques other than micro-irrigation.
  9. Use of native plant materials as defined in the ordinance is required. 10% native landscaping is required in 2002, 20% in 2003 and 30% in 2004.

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St. Petersburg

Pending more information.


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Sarasota County

"Xeriscape" Ordinance adopted November 15, 2001 - effective January 13, 2002.

  1. Sprinklers and rotors for turf areas shall be installed so as to minimize overspray onto paved surfaces, structures and non-vegetated areas; minimize runoff of irrigation water; and operate on their designed overlap patters of 75%-100%
  2. Plants with similar water requirements shall be irrigated on the same zone
  3. Pop up sprinklers and rotors will not be mixed in the same zone
  4. A rain sensing shutoff device shall be required on automatic irrigation systems to avoid irrigation during periods of sufficient rainfall. Said equipment shall consist of an automatic sensing device or switch which will override the irrigation cycle of the system when adequate rainfall has occurred. It must be place where it is exposed to unobstructed natural rainfall.

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Tampa

"Xeriscape" Ordinance effective March 1, 2002.

Summary (provided by the City of Tampa Construction Services Center):

The following additional information must be provided on the Site Plan for any development that proposes to install a landscape irrigation system.

  1. Delineation of Irrigation Turfgrass Area
    1. Plan shall included calculation (%) of irrigated turfgrass not to exceed 50% of greenspace*.
    2. Fifty (50) percent of on-site greenspace* shall be allowed to utilize irrigation techniques other than micro irrigation.
    3. Turfgrass in excess of 50% shall not have a permanent irrigation system.
  2. Proposed Irrigation Zones
    1. Delineate micro-irrigation zones.
    2. Delineate areas utilizing irrigation techniques other than micro-irrigation.
    3. Show sprinkler spacing and diameter of coverage.
    4. Turf areas shall be on a separate irrigation zone than other landscape zones.
  3. A layer of Mulch to a minimum of three (3) inches shall be specified in plant beds and around individual trees in turf areas. Mulch shall not be required in annual beds.

Additional Irrigation Inspection Requirements:

  1. Sprinkler spacing shall not exceed 55% of the sprinkler’s diameter of coverage.
  2. Sprays and rotors shall not be combined on the same control valve circuit.
  3. Within each irrigation zone, sprays and rotors shall have matching application rates.
  4. Irrigation systems shall be designed to avoid over spray or runoff.
  5. Narrow areas (4’ or less) shall not be irrigated unless micro-irrigation is used.
  6. Irrigation equipment shall include an automatic irrigation controller with battery backup.
  7. Automatic Controller shall be equipped with a rain sensor device.

For further information contact the City of Tampa Construction Services Center at 813-250-1775.

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