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Conservation Tips

Helpful Links: Water Use Calculator - See how much water your home is using.


  • Indoor Saving Tips


    • Store tap water in a water pitcher in the refrigerator to keep a supply of cold water.
    • Give each person a designated glass or reusable water bottle so they do not use a new glass each time they want a drink. This will reduce the number of dishes to be washed.
    • Use the refrigerator or microwave to thaw frozen food.
    • Compost food and vegetable waste instead of using water to flush it down the garbage disposal.
    • Before loading the dishwasher, scrape food particles from dishes.
    • Only operate a full dishwasher. If your dishes are only slightly soiled, use the light wash cycle to save water.
    • Use a faucet aerator on your sinks. They save water and make more suds.
    • When hand-washing dishes, fill the rinsing sink 1/3-full instead of allowing the water to run constantly.
    • Replace leaky drain plugs in sinks and repair leaky faucets.



    Install it:

    • Low-flow faucet or aerator
    • Low-flow showerhead
    • Low-flow toilet Dual flush toilet


    Do it:

    • Take showers that are five minutes or less.
    • Turn off the water in the shower after you wet yourself down and while you lather up, turn the water back on to rinse
    • Turn off the water while brushing teeth and shaving.
    • Avoid using hot water when cold water will do.
    • Use less water for bathing.
    • Close the drain first and then fill the tub only one-third full. The initial burst of cold water will be warmed by the hot water as the tub fills.
    • Flush less — remember the toilet is not an ashtray or wastebasket.


    Install it:

    • Low-flow faucet or aerator
    • EnergyStar appliances


    Do it:

    • Collect kitchen scraps for compost
    • Recycle cans, glass, plastic, styrofoam, paper, foil, aerosol cans, appliances...almost anything! For a complete list of recyclables, click here.

    Laundry Room

    Install it:

    • EnergyStar washer and dryer
    • Low-flow faucet or aerator


    Do it:

    • Wash full loads only. If you must run a small load, use the load selector to match the water level required for the size of the load.
    • Use environmentally friendly detergents that have no phosphate and are biodegradable.
    • Normal and permanent press wash cycles are best for lightly soiled clothing.
    • Avoid rewashing by pretreating stains.
    • Check hoses on washing machines for visible bulges, cracks or leaks. Make sure your machine has at least four inches of clearance from the wall to prevent kinking. Replace black rubber hoses at least every 2 years and braided stainless steel hoses every 5 years.
    • Choose new high efficiency appliances with the EPA WaterSense label. These machines use up to 30 percent less water and 40 to 50 percent less energy.
    • Install low-flow aerators, if you have faucets in your laundry room.

    Helpful Tip: The laundry room accounts for 20 percent of household water use. Use cold or warm water to wash clothes. Use hot water only for very dirty loads and always use cold water for the rinse cycle.



    Call City of Lakeland Water Utilities at 863.834.6193 or the UF/IFAS Extension Polk County Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ at 863.519.1047.

  • Outdoor Saving Tips

    Outside Conservation Tips

    Install a Rain Barrel
    -Collect rain water in a rain barrel or cistern to water plants. For more information on rain barrels, click here.

    Use a Compost Bin
    -Recycle and reuse your indoor and outdoor waste. Reduce the amount of trash you are taking to the landfill. Composting is easy and beneficial. For more information on composting, click here

    Plant a Vegetable Garden
    -Grow your own vegetables and water them with micro-irrigation and fertilize with your compost.

    Direct Rainwater Into a Rain Garden
    -Direct rainwater from your roof into a low landscaped area in your yard. A rain garden reduces the runoff that leaves your yard.

    Install & Maintain a Florida-Friendly Yard
    -Florida-Friendly Landscapes are cost-saving, efficient, environmentally friendly and beautiful. For more information, click here.

    Leave Grass Clippings on the Lawn
    -Grass clippings don’t need to be collected, reduce waste and let the clippings break down to benefit your lawn.

    Pick Up After Your Pets
    -Prevent bacteria from entering our waterways by picking up after your pets.

    Maintain a Healthy Waterfront
    -Plant around your lake or pond, keep fertilizers away from the water and maintain native plants for a healthy waterfront.

    Direct Downspouts
    -Allow runoff to soak into the ground by directing downspouts onto porous surfaces.


    Call City of Lakeland Water Utilities at 863.834.6193 or the UF/IFAS Extension Polk County Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ at 863.519.1047.


Irrigation Days For Private Residences & Commercial Landscapes:

Lawn (Turf, Sod or Grass) & Landscape (Garden Plants) Watering

  • Addresses ending in 0, 2, 4, 6, or 8 may only water on Thursday and/or Sunday
  • Addresses Ending in 1, 3, 5, 7 or 9 may only water on Wednesday and/or Saturday
  • Properties with no discernible address such as entry ways and common areas may only water on Tuesday and/or Friday 

Rules to Follow

  • The two day a week schedule above must be followed.
  • Watering is allowed before 10 am or after 4 pm (but not both).
  • All automatic irrigation systems are required to have a working rain shut off device.
  • Variances are available, through the Southwest Florida Water Management District, if a property proposes an alternate irrigation plan (such as splitting a large property into two pieces and assigning a different day to each piece). Download An Application
  • Hand watering (with automatic shut-off device) or micro-irrigation of non-lawn landscaping is not currently restricted by day or times.
  • These restrictions apply to private residences and to commercial landscapes.
  • These rules apply to New Plantings:
    • New plant material may be watered out of cycle for up to 60 days for establishment (Keep a receipt for proof of new material, before and after pictures are also helpful). Here are the guidelines:
      • Days 1 through 30: May water on any day before 10 am or after 4 pm (but not both)  
      • Days 31 through 60: May water on the following days before 10 am or after 4 pm (but not both) :
        • Addresses Ending in 0, 2, 4, 6 or 8 may water Tuesday, Thursday and/or Sunday
        • Addresses Ending in 1, 3, 5, 7 or 9 may water Monday, Wednesday and/or Saturday
        • All locations without a discernible address (such as common areas and subdivision entry ways) may water on Tuesday, Friday and/or Sunday
    • A minimum of 50% the area being watered must contain new plants or sod.
    • New plant material may be watered at any time on the day of planting only.
    • Water before 10 am or after 4 pm (but not both).

All Water Uses

On August 1, 2017 the Modified Phase III Water Shortage per Rule 40D-21 declared by the Governing Board of the Southwest Florida Water Management District expired.  On August 2, 2017 City of Lakeland Customers returned to the permanent Year Round Conservation measures listed above. 

These restrictions apply to the use of water from public and private water utilities as well as the use of all wells and surface water sources (ponds, rivers, etc.).

This is only a summary. All water users should review Water Shortage Rules outlined in Rule 40D-22 of the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

For Additional Information

The Southwest Florida Water Management District has a toll-free line (800.848.0499) to provide answers to questions about water restrictions.

Information on water conservation is also available on the Southwest Florida Water Management District Website.