A strange thing happened over Sanibel and Captiva on Tuesday afternoon: it rained. At first, partly cloudy skies gave way to a full blanketing of grey. Then, a quick downpour followed by a steady sprinkle as evening approached was a welcomed visit to all living things on the islands.
However, what rainfall we saw was merely a modest amount that won't impact our browned lawns and shrubbery parched for some significant precipitation.
Last week, the city issued a reminder to residents and businesses of the year-round water restrictions currently established by the South Florida Water Management District.
Folks living in homes, or operating a business, with odd numbered addresses - ending with a 1, 3, 5, 7 or 9 - may water their lawns, plants or gardens on Wednesdays and/or Saturdays between the hours of midnight to 10 a.m. and/or 4 p.m. to midnight. People at even numbered addresses - ending with a 0, 2, 4, 6 or 8 (or no address listed) - may do the same on Thursdays and/or Sundays during the same time frames.
No exterior watering is allowed on any day between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and never on Fridays.
For the most efficient use of water, experts recommend avoiding irrigating lawns and plants during both time periods on the same day. Most lawns need only 3/4 to 1 inch of water per week. Low-volume systems such as drip, bubble and micro-jet systems that apply water directly to root plant zones may be used any time.
Considering that thusfar in 2009, Lee County has only received about 1.25 inches of rainfall - when the so-called "normal" amount of precipitation falling by mid-April is close to 8 inches - we all have to do our part and pay heed to the water restrictions that have been put forth.
The almost-daily rains of summer will be here in due time, and until then, let's follow the rules.
Doing an ancient Calusa Indian rain dance wouldn't hurt, either.
For additional watering restriction information, contact the City of Sanibel at 472-3700.
- Reporter editorial