PALM HARBOR, Fla. - Palm Harbor's Michael Barnes never thought he would be caught on the wrong side of watering restrictions. After all, he's always watered one day a week.
Last year, the homeowner says Pinellas County left a door hanger notifying him of enhanced restrictions. But he said he got no notification this year.
I confirmed that fact with county officials and the Southwest Florida Water Management District ( SWFWMD).
"Because it was an emergency and a higher level of shortage, it did instruct the utilities to begin issuing citations without first issuing a warning," said spokesperson Robyn Felix.
Turns out the one day a week Barnes watered wound up being wrong day under the new emergency rules. You can guess what happened next.
No warning and no second chance, Barnes got hit with a $193 citation.
They have plenty of company.
Nearly 500 Pinellas residents have been cited in just the last two months for violating the watering rules.
Now SWFWMD says it will go back and review the last round of watering restrictions to determine what worked and what did not. As a result, they may end up changing the way they handle the next shortage.
The current water restrictions are set to expire on July 31, leaving residents in Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas to water two days a week.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.