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Administrative Order 2002-05

I, Bradley M. Campbell, Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (Department), pursuant to the authority vested in me by the Water Supply Management Act, N.J.S.A. 58:1A-1 et seq., and its implementing rules, N.J.A.C. 7:19, as well as by Executive Order No. 11, issued by Governor James E. McGreevey on March 4, 2002, hereby order mandatory water use restrictions, and authorize certain uses and discharges of treated water, as set forth below. Based upon the current climatic and water supply conditions described below, I have determined this Order to be necessary to alleviate the water emergency and to be in the public interest.

Despite the coordinated water management measures implemented by water suppliers, municipalities, counties and the State, including transfers of water and reductions in passing flows, and voluntary water conservation efforts, water use demands remain at levels that cannot be sustained under current conditions. Rainfall throughout the State has been insufficient to moderate the severe precipitation shortfall. Despite efforts by New Jersey's residents and businesses to conserve water, the State continues to be threatened with drought due to a significant long-term precipitation deficit, compounded by below normal levels in surface and ground water supplies.

As described in Executive Order No. 11, New Jersey is divided into six Drought Regions based upon watershed location and other conditions relevant to water supply. The boundaries of these Drought Regions and the municipalities included within each region are identified in Attachment A [Note for Internet users: You can perform a search to find out which municipality is in each drought region, or you can view Attachment A in Adobe Acrobat PDF format]. While all drought regions have been impacted by the drought, each region has unique characteristics and variations in hydrogeology, water supply infrastructure and current water supply sources. As such, restrictions and authorizations set forth by this Order and any subsequent Order will address specific conditions of each region as warranted.

SECTION I. Statewide Water Use Restrictions Due to the severity of the continuing drought conditions, all residents, visitors, businesses and government agencies must fully comply in a cooperative effort to avoid a more serious water shortage and avert the need for more restrictive measures. Therefore, in accordance with the Water Supply Allocation Rules at N.J.A.C. 7:19-13.3, I hereby order that the following restrictions and authorizations apply in all six Drought Regions:

  1. The serving of water in restaurants, clubs or eating places is prohibited, unless specifically requested by the patron.

  2. The washing of any vehicles other than fire engines, and HAZMAT vehicles is prohibited, except in the following cases:

    1. Washing of vehicles performed by a commercial enterprise engaged in car washing is permitted, provided the following requirements are met:
      1. Vehicles shall not be pre-rinsed except with recycled water;
      2. Rinse cycles shall be forty (40) seconds or less per vehicle. This may be accomplished by increasing conveyor speeds;
      3. Additional measures shall be implemented to minimize water use, such as reducing the size of water nozzles where possible and plugging all unnecessary out-flows;
      4. All fixtures and equipment shall be inspected for leaks on a daily basis. Necessary repairs shall be made immediately; and
      5. Water conservation consciousness shall be encouraged by the Car Wash Operators of New Jersey by the placement of posters and literature where customers and employees will have access to them; and

    2. Washing of vehicles at car dealerships is permitted, provided the following requirements are met:
      1. Except as set forth in v. below, vehicles may only be washed just prior to delivery to customers or prior to placement in display showrooms;
      2. The amount of water used shall be the minimum necessary, and rinse time shall be no longer than 2 to 3 minutes;
      3. All hoses must not leak and shall be equipped with a hand-held nozzle that automatically shuts off when released;
      4. Wash and/or rinse water shall be recycled to the extent practicable; and
      5. New vehicles at a dealership may be washed in accordance with the conditions at ii. through iv. above once per month if necessary to preserve the vehicle's finish.

    3. Washing of boats at boats dealerships and marinas is permitted, provided the following requirements are met:
      1. Except as set forth in v. and vi. below, boats may only be washed just prior to delivery to customers or prior to placement in display showrooms;
      2. The amount of water used shall be the minimum necessary, and rinse time shall be no longer than 2 to 3 minutes per area washed;
      3. All hoses must not leak and shall be equipped with a hand-held nozzle that automatically shuts off when released;
      4. Wash and/or rinse water shall be recycled to the extent practicable;
      5. Boat bottoms may be cleaned using a powerwasher in accordance with ii. iii. and iv. above.
      6. New boats at a dealership may be washed in accordance with the conditions at ii. through iv. above once per month if necessary to preserve the boat's finish;
      7. Boats at a marina may be washed to remove salt spray and for sanitary reasons;
      8. Marine engines may be flushed with fresh water;
      9. Trailered boats must be washed at a commercial car wash.

  3. The use of water for washing paved surfaces, such as streets, roads, sidewalks, driveways, garages, parking areas and patios is prohibited, except in the following cases:

    1. Water use for roadway milling, and for the preparation of asphalt street or driveway re-coating and sealing, is permitted, provided the amount of water used is the minimum necessary;

    2. Washing of paved surfaces at eating and drinking establishments is permitted for sanitation purposes, provided the amount of water used is the minimum necessary;

    3. Use of water for municipal street sweeping is permitted, provided that:
      1. Only non-potable water is used;
      2. The amount of water used is the minimum necessary; and
      3. An appropriate sign is prominently displayed on the street sweeping vehicle, clearly indicating that the water used is non-potable water; and

    4. Where the municipal or county health department deems that such washing is necessary to avert a threat to public health, and provided that the amount of water used is the minimum necessary.

  4. The use of water for the flushing of sewers is prohibited, except in the following cases:

    1. Where non-potable water is utilized, provided that the amount of water used is the minimum necessary, and provided that an appropriate sign is prominently displayed, clearly indicating that the water used is non-potable water; and

    2. Where the municipal or county health department deems that flushing is necessary to avert a threat to public health.

  5. The use of fire hydrants is prohibited, except in the following cases:

    1. As necessary for fire fighting or fire protection purposes;

    2. As necessary for testing or fire drills only if the testing or drill is deemed necessary in the interest of public safety by the municipal governing body and the applicable water purveyor, and is specifically approved by the municipal governing body and the applicable water purveyor; and

    3. Where a commercial enterprise has traditionally used water from the hydrant with prior written permission from the applicable water purveyor, provided that such use is necessary for the maintenance of the business. If a hydrant is used in this manner, water usage shall be metered.

  6. The use of water for power washing of buildings, vehicles, pavement, or other surfaces is prohibited, except if the power washing is performed by a commercial enterprise engaged in power washing. A commercial enterprise performing power washing shall comply with all applicable limits set forth in this Order relating to specific power washing activities. For example, a commercial power washing business engaged in washing cars at a car dealership shall comply with the limits for car washing at car dealerships set forth at 2B above.

  7. The outdoor use of any water for ornamental or aesthetic purposes, including fountains, artificial waterfalls and reflecting pools, is prohibited, except if necessary to preserve or support wildlife, or for sanitary or structural purposes where draining is impractical.

  8. The watering of lawns is prohibited except in the following cases:

    1. Lawn watering is permitted in order to establish and maintain newly laid sod or newly seeded grass associated with new construction (this exemption shall not apply to seeding over existing lawn areas), within the following limits:
      1. The amount of water used shall be the minimum necessary to establish and maintain the grass;
      2. The watering is permitted for the first 45 days only, starting on the date of planting or of laying the sod. Documentation of the date of seed planting or sod laying shall be produced upon the request of the appropriate authorities;
      3. The watering may occur only between 6:00 A.M. and 9:00 A.M. and between 5:00 P.M. and 8:00 P.M.; and
      4. The watering shall not exceed 45 minutes per area watered on any one day, except that watering may be extended to one hour per area watered on the day that sod is laid.

    2. Lawn watering is permitted immediately following application by a commercial applicator of fertilizer, pesticide or herbicide, within the following limits:
      1. The amount of water used shall be the minimum necessary to ensure the appropriate absorption of the fertilizer, pesticide or herbicide;
      2. The watering is permitted for 2 days only, starting on the date that the chemical is applied. Documentation of the date of application shall be produced upon the request of the appropriate authorities;
      3. The watering may occur only between 6:00 A.M. and 9:00 A.M. and between 5:00 P.M. and 8:00 P.M.;
      4. The watering shall not exceed 45 minutes per area watered on any one day; and
      5. This exemption shall only be valid for a single chemical application once every three months.

    3. A commercial landscaper may water newly seeded or sodded grassed areas during normal seasonal working hours outside of the hours listed above, by a means designed and operated to assure effective conservation, provided that:
      1. Watering is performed in accordance with 'The Rutgers Cooperative Extension Best Management Practices for Watering Lawns.'
      2. During the initial 45 day grow-in period a sign shall be displayed on the front lawn of the property. The sign shall be at least four feet wide by four feet high, with lettering large enough to be clearly visible from the nearest road. The sign shall read:

        AUTHORIZED LIMITED WATERING OF NEW LAWN
        Company Name
        Address
        Telephone Number

      3. Documentation of the planting date shall be produced upon the request of the appropriate authorities.

    4. Lawn watering is permitted if it is necessary for the revegetation of land in order to prevent soil erosion following earth-moving activities, provided that:
      1. The amount of water used shall be the minimum necessary to accomplish the revegetation;
      2. The activity is a construction-related project that complies with the "Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Act" (SESCA), N.J.S.A. 4:24-39 et seq., or meets iii below;
      3. If the project is not subject to SESCA (i.e., a single family home or a project of less than 5,000 square feet), the project must be covered by a construction permit issued by the local municipal authority;
      4. The watering is limited to the disturbed area; and
      5. Documentation of the planting date shall be produced upon the request of the appropriate authorities.

    5. Testing of a customer's newly installed or newly repaired sprinkler system by a commercial enterprise engaged in the installation or repair of lawn irrigation systems is permitted, within the following limits:
      1. The amount of water used shall be the minimum necessary to test the sprinkler system;
      2. The test shall be limited to a maximum of ten (10) minutes per sprinkler zone; and
      3. During the period of the test a sign shall be displayed on the front lawn of the property. The sign shall be at least four feet wide by four feet high, with lettering large enough to be clearly visible from the nearest road. The sign shall read:

        AUTHORIZED LIMITED TESTING OF SPRINKLER SYSTEM
        Company Name
        Address
        Telephone Number

    6. All lawn watering authorized herein shall use the minimum amount of water necessary.

    7. All lawn watering authorized herein shall be performed in such a way that no puddling or runoff of water occurs; and

    8. All lawn watering authorized herein shall be performed in such a way that no paved surfaces are included in the area watered.

  9. The watering of vegetation other than lawns is prohibited, except that the watering of trees, shrubs, and vegetable or flower gardens is permitted, using the minimum amount of water necessary, within the following limits:

    1. The water shall be applied with one of the following:
      1. A watering can; or
      2. A hose that does not leak, and is equipped with a hand-held nozzle that automatically shuts off when released.

    2. All watering authorized herein shall use the minimum amount of water necessary.

    3. All watering authorized herein shall be performed in such a way that no puddling or runoff of water occurs; and

    4. All watering authorized herein shall be performed in such a way that no paved surfaces are included in the area watered.

  10. Watering of athletic playing fields, including those used by professional, college/university and youth league sports teams, as well as those owned or operated by public and private schools and parks, is permitted within the following limits:

    1. Watering may occur only between 8:00 P.M. and 6:00 A.M.;

    2. Watering may not exceed 45 minutes per area watered on any one day;

    3. No grass or dirt areas outside of the essential playing area may be watered;

    4. Under no circumstances shall a water cannon be used; and

    5. Water conservation measures shall be instituted to the maximum extent practicable.

  11. The watering of agricultural food crops, sod at commercial sod farms, and the watering of nursery stock at nurseries or retail outlets is permitted and is exempt from restrictions at this time, provided that all watering is done in accordance with best management practices, and:

    1. The use and diversion from all sources is less than 70 gallons per minute; and

    2. Any use and diversion of 70 gallons per minute or more is authorized by an approved Agricultural Certification or Agricultural Water Use Registration.

  12. The use of water for outdoor recreational purposes, not covered by paragraph 10, is prohibited, except that:

    1. Golf courses covered by a valid Department Water Allocation Permit or Water Use Registration may use water within the following limits:
      1. For tees, greens, and fairways, watering by sprinkler or other conserving mechanical means is permitted between 9:00 P.M. and 6:00 A.M, provided that the amount of water used is the minimum necessary for vegetation survival;
      2. Syringing (hot spot watering) with a hand held hose is permitted between 11:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M., provided that no area is watered for more than 10 minutes per day;
      3. If seeding or resodding is necessary, newly seeded or sodded fairways may be watered between 9:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M., provided that no area may be watered for more than 45 minutes on any given day;
      4. Rough or other grass areas not addressed above may not be watered by any means;
      5. Under no circumstances shall a water cannon be used;
      6. Watering shall be done in accordance with 'The Rutgers Cooperative Extension Best Management Practices for Irrigating Golf Course Turf' (in Adobe Acrobat PDF format); and
      7. Under no circumstances shall total monthly cumulative water use exceed 50% of either the monthly allocated water for that golf course, or the average utilization rate the past 5 years, whichever is lower, based on the permit or registration issued by the Department,. Metered usage from all water sources shall be submitted to the Department' Bureau of Water Allocation on a monthly basis, within 7 days of the end of the calendar month.

    2. Golf courses that use treated wastewater only for irrigation are exempt from these restrictions.

    3. Watering of clay tennis courts is permitted, using sprinklers or hand-held watering devices, provided that watering occurs for no more than 10 minutes per day, between 8:00 P.M. and 6:00 A.M. and/or between 12:00 noon and 3:00 P.M.

    4. Filling of public and private swimming pools, including but not limited to, outdoor hot tubs, spas and jacuzzis, is prohibited, except in the following cases:
      1. Newly constructed or installed swimming pools may be filled once upon completion of construction, provided that, if the pool is filled prior to May 1, 2002, the water is not taken from the local municipal water purveyor;
      2. The one-time draining and subsequent refilling of a swimming pool for repairs is permitted, provided that such repair is necessary to preserve the structural integrity of the pool and/or its supporting infrastructure. A person seeking to use water for this purpose shall notify the local police, fire, and public works departments prior to draining the swimming pool to provide notice to authorities and provide for an opportunity for reuse in accordance with iv. below;
      3. Partial draining of a pool is permitted to facilitate winterization and covering, provided the draining is the minimum necessary;
      4. Every reasonable effort shall be made to collect and re-use water drained from a pool, including use by the local fire department or public works department; and
      5. Topping of pools (that is, adding water to a partially filled pool) is permitted, provide that the amount of water used is the minimum necessary to maintain the integrity of the pool's circulation and filtration system(s).

  13. AUTHORIZATION for use of non-potable water: In order to promote the use of non-potable water as an alternate source for activities currently supplied by potable sources, where appropriate and consistent with the purposes of this Order, I hereby authorize domestic treatment works to make available, for temporary use, treated effluent which meets all of its New Jersey Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems (NJPDES) permit requirements, as a substitute for potable water sources, provided all of the following criteria are met:

    1. The domestic treatment works must be in compliance with its existing NJPDES discharge permit;

    2. Prior to allowing the re-use of its effluent, the treatment works must obtain written approval from the Department's Division of Water Quality. The written approval must be issued after the effective date of this Order;

    3. Any decrease in the treatment works' effluent discharge into a receiving water body, caused by re-use of effluent, shall not jeopardize the base flow of the receiving water, nor shall it impact downstream natural resources or water supply withdrawals;

    4. The treated effluent shall be used in an appropriate and safe manner, as follows:
      1. Recommended applications include: landscaping beds, street sweeping, nurseries, non-edible crops, golf courses, roadside plantings and mobile fire protection;
      2. Unless specifically approved in writing by the Department of Environmental Protection, prohibited applications include: residential lawns and other recreational areas, indoor use, edible crops, or any area where there is a high probability of immediate human contact;
      3. The application of treated effluent shall not produce surface runoff or ponding;
      4. Individuals spraying the effluent should use proper care and precautions so as not to come in contact with or inhale the aerosolized water vapors; and
      5. Treated effluent shall be sprayed only in areas, and at times, which would have limited or no public access.

    5. Prior approvals for reuse where authorized in a NJPDES permit remain valid except where the treatment plant discharge is upstream of an area for which the Department has established a minimum required passing flow for the receiving water body, which is not being met. In those cases, prior approvals are revoked for the duration of the declared water emergency.

    6. Where treated effluent is in use, signs shall be posted informing the public that the water being applied is treated effluent;

    7. Domestic treatment works shall maintain a list of users of treated effluent. The list shall include the name of the user, date of pickup, number of gallons used, and the location and means of disposal; and

    8. Reuse of treated effluent shall not be considered a basis for increasing permitted capacity for a treatment works.

  14. AUTHORIZATION for certain temporary emergency discharges: the Department may authorize a discharge to the surface and/or ground waters of the State if a water treatment facility finds such a discharge necessary to address the water emergency or to protect human health and the environment. Such discharge shall be authorized on a temporary, emergency basis only. The Department may impose treatment and/or monitoring requirements on such a discharge. No discharge shall begin until the Department's authorization has been issued. The water treatment facility must submit an application for a discharge permit to the Department within ten calendar days after receiving the emergency authorization to begin the discharge.

Section II. Watering Exemptions for the Central and Coastal North Drought Regions

In the Central and Coastal North Drought Regions, the prohibitions on watering lawns, vegetation other than lawns (trees, shrubs, flower and vegetable gardens), and athletic playing fields as identified in subsections I.8.,I.9., and I.10. above do not apply . Accordingly, watering otherwise prohibited by those subsections is permitted on an "odd-even" basis. Watering can occur on even numbered days on the side of the street with even numbered street addresses, and on odd numbered days on the side of the street with odd numbered street addresses. For locations without street addresses watering can occur no more frequently than every other day.

Section III. General Provisions Applicable Statewide
  1. For the purpose of this order commercial enterprise means: A person, proprietorship, partnership, corporation or other form of business enterprise, regularly engaged in an activity for profit.

  2. Within thirty (30) days, all commercial enterprises that use more than 100,000 gallons of water per day from any source must prepare drought emergency contingency plans. Such plans shall identify the water sources used; a description of the processes at each facility using water; and a plan of action to reduce water use beyond the requirements of this Order by 10 percent, 20 percent, 30 percent, 40 percent, and 50 percent. If such reductions become necessary, such plans shall be submitted to:

    Drought Coordinator
    Water Supply Administration
    P.O. Box 426
    Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0426

  3. Public showers and commercial establishments with showers must retrofit those showers with low flow showerheads or install flow restrictors.

  4. All open burning permits are hereby held in abeyance, and open fires are prohibited throughout the State of New Jersey.

  5. All aquifer pumping tests are prohibited for the duration of this water emergency, unless:

    1. The test is associated with a groundwater remediation project; or

    2. The test is associated with a replacement well for a previously approved, allocated diversion source; or

    3. The test is associated with a public community water supply well necessary to ensure an adequate water supply during this water emergency.

  6. The Department is hereby holding in abeyance final decisions on all pending Green Acres applications for diversions and or disposals under N.J.A.C. 7:36.

  7. The Department is hereby holding in abeyance final decisions on issuance of all new or modified Water Allocation Permits under N.J.A.C. 7:19.

  8. Each State agency shall develop a water conservation plan that outlines specific measures that the State agency will take to reduce water consumption at State facilities, as well as water consumption resulting from activities undertaken as part of the normal operational functions of the State agency. The water conservation plan shall seek to identify conservation measures significantly above and beyond the most severe restrictions being imposed upon the public through this Administrative Order. The first draft of said plan shall be completed and submitted for review by the Drought Coordinator by April 19, 2002.

  9. These restrictions and authorizations shall apply equally to all water users in the affected regions, regardless of whether the water used is drawn from ground or surface water (such as a pond, lake, river or stream), a public water supplier, or a private well.

  10. Nothing in this Order shall be construed to prevent any local or county government from instituting water use restrictions that are more stringent, provided the local restrictions do not conflict with State or Federal law. These restrictions and authorizations may be modified and/or supplemented through additional Administrative Orders.

  11. Any person who violates any provision of this Order or who impedes or interferes with any action ordered or taken pursuant to this Order shall be subject to penalties under N.J.S.A. 58:1A-1 et seq., N.J.S.A. App. A:9-49 et seq., N.J.A.C. 7:19, or under N.J.S.A. 58:10A-1 et seq., N.J.S.A. App. A:9-49 et seq., and N.J.A.C. 7:14A. These enforcement sanctions range from a warning to a fine and/or imprisonment.

  12. Municipal and county law enforcement agencies, as well as State law enforcement agencies, shall be responsible for enforcement of this Administrative Order and any subsequent Orders issued by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection or by the Drought Coordinator. Exemptions from the restrictions may be available from the Water Emergency Task Force in limited cases.

Any person wishing to be exempt wholly or partially from the restrictions on water use outlined in this Order may apply for a hardship exemption according to the procedure outlined at N.J.A.C. 7:19-16.

This Order shall take effect immediately and shall remain in effect until superseded or terminated by my action or by action of the Governor of the State of New Jersey. All previous Orders issued by me shall remain in effect, except to the extent that they conflict with this Order.



Date: March 11, 2002 _________________
Bradley M. Campbell
Acting Commissioner

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Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: December 19, 2002