TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie has signed an executive order declaring a state of water emergency and enabling the Department of Environmental Protection to implement mandatory water use restrictions. 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 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.”
The following water use restrictions, prohibitions and exemptions take effect immediately:
- 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.