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New watering rules take effect today in Manatee

The relaxation of irrigation rules for Manatee and the surrounding area took effect today.

The Southwest Florida Water Management District board voted Tuesday to allow to expire rules limiting residents to watering their lawns to once a week.

The board relaxed the restrictions because of the above-average rainfall the area has experienced this year.

With the lifting of the once-a-week rules, local governments are permitted to return to twice-a-week restrictions or maintain the current rules.

Manatee County and five of the municipalities have returned to less restrictive watering schedule, while Longboat Key and most of Sarasota County will maintain the once-a-week rules.

The new rules all water customers with even-numbered addresses to water on Thursday and Sunday, and odd-numbered addresses Wednesday and Saturday, before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.

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