Water Conservation and Emergency Management Regulations during NJ Drought Watch

The NJDEP currently has New Jersey in a drought watch status. (https://dep.nj.gov/drought/) Under a drought watch, their focus is placed on voluntary reductions in demand through increased public awareness. The Commissioner’s declaration of a drought watch is the first in the State’s three-stage drought advisory system. The watch is intended to sow public awareness and appreciation of the stress upon water supply sources and encourage voluntary water conservation measures. If conditions do not improve, declaration of a drought warning or a drought emergency with mandatory water use restrictions may become necessary. Voluntary conservation measures at the watch stage can help to avoid more serious and restrictive drought conditions.

As a reminder to residents, under Chapter 121-3(K) of the Township’s Administrative Code (Water Conservation): For the period May 1 through September 30 of each year, the following water conservation regulations shall be in effect:

(a) The use of public water for irrigation shall be limited to an odd/even schedule according to date and the users’ house number.

  • The use of public water for irrigation shall be limited to six hours per day, from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. prevailing time in accordance with the odd/even schedule as set forth in Stage 1, above.
  • Properties equipped with automatic sprinklers, for the purpose of watering lawns, shrubs, trees, flowers or gardens, are permitted to be watered according to the odd/even schedule from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. only
  • Swimming pools are permitted to be filled or topped off in accordance with the odd/even schedule set forth in Stage 1 above.
  • Flowers and shrubs on properties having hand-held hoses equipped with an automatic shut-off nozzle are permitted to be watered as needed.
  • Common areas, which shall be defined as an area within or related to a site, including but not limited to passive or recreation lots, median strips, or open space, intended for the use or enjoyment of residents, may be watered on even dates. common areas shall specifically include (but are not limited to) any property owned and maintained by a homeowners’ association.

(b) The following uses shall be exempt from the odd/even requirement:

  • Use of water from private wells, lakes, streams or any source other than the municipal water system.
  • Use of water for agricultural application.
  • Use of water by a business engaged in the sale of plants, shrubs, trees, sod, etc., or landscaping services, that require daily watering.
  • Use of water for newly planted landscaping, for a period of time not to exceed thirty (30) days from the date of installation.
  • Use of water for fire suppression and protection.
  • Use of water approved and authorized by the Division.
  • Customers of the water system, using water from private wells, lakes, streams or other sources other than the municipal system, shall post a sign, visible from the street, stating the source of the water being used for irrigation purposes.

(c) The use of public water for irrigation and exterior water use shall not be permitted as follows:

  • During period of precipitation
  • To apply or to excessively run off, directly or indirectly street surfaces, driveways other impervious surfaces, except when authorized by the Division of Utilities.

For more information, please contact the Utilities Division of the Department of Neighborhood Services at 609-654-6791. We appreciate your cooperation as New Jersey remains in a drought watch status.

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