Declares State of Water Emergency, Authorizes DEP to Take Steps to Prevent Water Shortage
Trenton, NJ – Taking action to secure New Jersey’s water supplies while power restoration efforts continue at the state’s water supply facilities, Governor Chris Christie last night signed Executive Order 106, declaring a state of water emergency and authorizing the Department of Environmental Protection to implement water usage restrictions across the state. Ongoing power outages around the state have left some of the state’s water facilities operating on generators, bringing about the need for water conservation around the state as restoration efforts continue.
“We need to make sure our communities have access to clean water so that people can return to their homes and a sense of normalcy,” said Governor Christie. “The most important thing we can do right now for everyone is conserving water, while we restore power at our supply facilities and secure the supplies and availability of clean water to everyone who needs it. To that end, I’ve signed this executive order which establishes mandatory statewide water use restrictions to help ensure our water supplies are secure and we can help prevent a shortage. As a commonsense step, all of our residents should be mindful and conservative in the amount of water they are using while we get water back on and our water delivery systems completely secure.”
Executive Order 106 declares a state of water emergency resulting from the substantial damage of Hurricane Sandy, including significant disruption of the power generation necessary to maintain our State’s water supply. It also encourages cooperative efforts across the state to ensure sound water use, both inside and outside the home, will reduce consumption and thereby minimize the need for treatment and production that places additional strains on our State’s energy supply.
Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin today signed an administrative order that provides specific details of the mandatory water statewide use restrictions, which takes effect immediately.
“Although the state’s water supplies are not directly threatened at this time, significant compromises to the energy supply in the wake of Hurricane Sandy may negatively affect the ability to maintain the water supply network across the state dictating the need for all New Jersey residents to conserve water to the maximum extent possible,’’ said Commissioner Martin. “While this order details specific water use restrictions and prohibitions, every resident, visitor and business is urged to pitch in immediately reduce water consumption until we get past this critical situation. We need full and immediate cooperation.’’
The Administrative Order includes the following water use restrictions, prohibitions and exemptions:
- · All indoor water use, including showers, baths and domestic cleaning, must be conducted with minimum amounts of water;
- · Non-essential outdoor water use is prohibited;
- · Watering of grass, lawns and landscapes is prohibited except for newly sodded or seeded areas done by professional landscapers or immediately following a commercial application of fertilizer, pesticide or herbicides; minimum amount of water should be used during these applications;
- · Use of water for washing paved surfaces, such as streets, sidewalks, driveways, garages, parking lots and patios is prohibited;
- · Outdoor use of water for ornamental or aesthetic purposes, including fountains, artificial waterfalls, and reflecting pools is prohibited, except to preserve or support wildlife
- · Use of water for municipal street sweeping is allowed only with non-potable water and with minimal use necessary;
- · Use of water for power washing of buildings is prohibited except for commercial enterprises engaged in power washing, and with minimum water use;
- · Car and truck washing, except for emergency vehicles, is prohibited;
- · Commercial car washing is allowed but with reduced rinse cycles and use of recycled water for pre-rinsing of vehicles;
- · Cars and trucks at dealerships may only be washed just prior to delivery, with wash time limited to three minutes;
- · Serving of water in restaurants, clubs, or other eating establishments is prohibited unless specifically requested by patrons.