Cape Coral issues burn ban and “Stage I Water Shortage” with mandatory one-day watering
City Manager John Szerlag has issued a burn ban for Cape Coral and has declared a Notice of Emergency Stage I Water Shortage. The burn ban is effective immediately, while the one-day mandatory watering restrictions will go into effect Friday, April 21. The emergency water shortage declaration is the next stage of the City's Emergency Water Conservation Plan authorized per Chapter 19-91 of the City of Cape Coral Code of Ordinances and requires mandatory one-day watering for all Cape Coral residents and businesses.
"The combination of no rain and only minimal reduction in irrigation usage by our residents and businesses has lowered the water in our freshwater canal system to critical levels," said Szerlag. "We cannot risk the public safety of our citizens who rely on fire protection from hundreds of fire hydrants connected to the irrigation supply. At the same, we also must take steps to limit potential fire risk by issuing the burn ban."
The burn ban is effective immediately and prohibits most open burning with the exception of barbecue grills. With the Stage I Water Shortage, the city is providing residents one week to adjust their timers and set their sprinklers to their permitted day and time. Beginning Friday, April 21, the city will begin enforcing the one-day watering schedule. First violations are a warning; second violations will be $100 fines; third violations are $200 fines; and, fourth violations will be $400 fines plus disconnection from the irrigation system. Residents are reminded that hand watering is allowed at any time.