DEP Commissioner Bradley
M. Campbell Orders Mandatory Water-Use Restrictions
Department Working with
Diverse Group of Stakeholders and Seeking Public Input to
Plan for Current Crisis and Better Long-Term Management
of the State's Water Resources
For Immediate Release: Monday, March
(02/13) Trenton, NJ -- New Jersey Department
of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M.
Campbell today set forth statewide, mandatory water-use
restrictions in an effort to avert more severe limits on
water consumption in the coming months. Through the signing
of an Administrative
Order, which takes effective immediately, Campbell has
called for broad-based restrictions and participation, calling
on all New Jerseyans to help address the state's severe
"We've had the driest six-month period
in New Jersey since 1895," said Commissioner Campbell,
adding that, "all of us must do our part to eliminate
water waste and reduce our water uses. The drought restrictions
I established today are a necessary step to sustain the
water resources we currently have, to prepare for a continued
lack of rain and to protect New Jersey's economic health."
Governor James E. McGreevey issued
Order on March 4 declaring a water emergency in the
State of New Jersey and authorizing Commissioner Campbell
to develop mandatory restrictions and conservation measures
tailored to the six drought regions of the State. This is
the earliest time of the year that a New Jersey Governor
has declared a statewide water emergency.
Due to the severity of continuing drought
conditions, which are occurring in the entire Northeast
of the country, all New Jersey residents and visitors, businesses
and government agencies must fully comply in this cooperative
effort. State agencies and departments are being asked to
lead the way by identifying and implementing conservation
measures above and beyond what is being asked of the public
in reducing water consumption.
Generally, all restrictions apply statewide
with some exemptions for the Central and Coastal North drought
regions. Effective statewide, washing paved surfaces such
as streets, sidewalks and patios with water is prohibited.
Water may not be served in restaurants, clubs or other eating
establishments unless it is specifically requested by the
patron. Other restrictions include washing of vehicles and
boats and non-commercial power washing buildings and other
surfaces. Throughout the Order, several common-sense exemptions
are provided to avoid hardship and minimize impacts on New
Jersey's economy. For example, vehicles may be washed by
commercial car washes that use specific waste-minimization
measures or use recycled water.
There are widespread restrictions on the
watering of lawns. However, there are some exemptions that
apply to the maintenance of newly laid sod or seeded grass,
to commercial landscapers and to the entire Central and
Coastal North regions. Allowances are also made for the
watering of trees, shrubs and vegetable or flower gardens.
Governor McGreevey has asked Commissioner
Campbell to establish, for the first time, an external task
force of stakeholders who can provide input and offer information
and guidance on the drought. Campbell has already met with
this developing group, which represents a wide range of
interests and expertise. Their input was used to develop
the Order issued today with an aim towards balancing the
diverse needs of the State's water resources.
The DEP will hold a series of workshops
and information sessions for all New Jerseyans in each of
the State's six regions - the specifics of which will be
announced shortly. These sessions will provide the public
the opportunity to contribute to decisions made regarding
the drought as well as help the Department with updating
the Statewide Water Management Plan.
"We need to address the short-term
situation, but look at the long-term as well," said
Campbell, adding, "I think it is important to understand,
as we undertake this emergency contingency planning, that
we need to be better prepared for this type of crisis in
the future. No one can control the rain, but we need to
re-think the way we manage the State's water resources if
we are to support the ecological future and economic growth
that our communities want and that our State needs."
Commissioner Campbell also reactivated
the Water Emergency Task Force. This Task Force is comprised
of Cabinet members or their designates and besides serving
an advisory role to the Commissioner, they also hear appeals
on hardship exemptions. In addition, the Commissioner has
named Dennis Hart the State's Drought Coordinator. Hart
will also assume the role as the Department's Water Supply
The DEP operates a hotline at 1 800
4 ITS DRY (1 800 448 7379) for individuals and businesses
who have questions about restrictions; or fax the DEP at
609 633 1495. And visit the DEP web site http://
www.njdrought.org for up-to-date information on the
drought, including reservoir levels, current rainfall statistics
and water conservation practices.
The attached fact sheet (below) outlines
some of the Order's restrictions and general provisions,
as well as alternative water sources the Department may
seek to use.
ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER 2002-05
WATER USE RESTRICTIONS
- Serving of water in public eating establishments is
prohibited, unless requested.
- Washing of any vehicles, other than emergency vehicles,
- Commercial car washing establishments can operate under
- Car dealerships can wash vehicles under certain criteria.
- Washing boats at dealerships and marinas is permitted
under certain criteria.
- Washing paved surfaces is prohibited unless necessary
to protect human health or for sanitary purposes.
- Flushing sewers with potable water is prohibited with
- Use of fire hydrants is prohibited unless fighting fires
in the interest of public safety or with written permission
from water purveyors.
- Only commercial power washing is permitted with established
- Ornamental outdoor water use is prohibited except for
wildlife or sanitary purposes.
- Lawn watering is prohibited except in the central and
coastal north where an odd-even system is allowed. New
sod or newly seeded lawn associated with new construction
is allowed under certain criteria.
- Watering of vegetation is allowed under certain criteria.
Watering of trees, shrubs, vegetable or flower gardens
is permitted using odd-even watering system in central
and coastal north. Re-vegetation of disturbed areas to
prevent soil erosion is permitted under certain criteria.
- Watering of athletic fields is permitted under certain
criteria using odd-even water system in central and coastal
- Watering for agricultural purposes is permitted with
- Water used for outdoor recreational purposes is prohibited
except for golf courses and tennis courts under certain
- Filling of public and private swimming pools, hot tubs,
spas and jacuzzis is prohibited with limited exceptions.
Topping of pools is permitted.
- Public and commercial establishments with showers must
retrofit showerheads for low flow.
- All open burning is prohibited.
- Aquifer pumping tests are prohibited with certain exceptions.
- Each state agency shall develop a water conservation
- Major water users (more than 200,000 gpd) must develop
contingency plans for further reductions.
Municipal and county law enforcement agencies,
as well as state law enforcement agencies, are all being
asked to enforce the restrictions. Sanctions, including
fines can be imposed.
ALTERNATE WATER SOURCES
- The use of non-potable water (treated effluent) is authorized
for certain activities providing public health and safety
criteria is met.
- Transfers of water from Lake Hopatcong and Lake Wawayanda
are being explored.
For more detailed exceptions and exemptions,
as well as tips for water conservation go to www.njdrought.org
or call 1 800 4 ITS DRY.