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New Jersey Drought Information -

Administrative Order 2002-18

This Administrative Order supersedes previously enacted Administrative Orders 2002-03, 2002-05, 2002-07, 2002-14, 2002-15, and 2002-17.

Due to the recent rains, the drought management efforts of water purveyors and the Department, and the outstanding water conservation efforts of citizens, businesses, municipalities, and counties, water supplies in New Jersey have improved considerably and have ameliorated a very serious drought situation. Rainfall patterns have returned to normal for the past three months, and reservoirs throughout the State are approaching normal levels.

Therefore, 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., its implementing rules at N.J.A.C. 7:19, and Executive Order No. 11, hereby order a revision of the mandatory water use restrictions, and authorize certain uses and discharges of treated wastewater, as set forth below. I have determined this Order to be necessary to ensure an adequate water supply to the State, to alleviate the water emergency and to be in the public interest.

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 can be viewed on the DEP drought web page at

All restrictions in this Order apply uniformly Statewide.

I hereby order the following:

SECTION I. Statewide Water Use Restrictions

The following restrictions and authorizations apply in all six Drought Regions:

  1. All water use authorized under this Administrative Order is subject to the following limits:

    1. The amount of water used shall be the minimum necessary to carry out the activity;

    2. No puddling or runoff of water shall occur; and

    3. Any activity that involves use of a hose shall be performed with a hose that does not leak, and which is equipped with a nozzle that shuts off automatically when the hose is released.

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

  3. The washing of a vehicle at a residence is restricted to Saturdays and Sundays. Vehicles may be washed with a bucket and sponge, or with a hose, but may not be washed with a power washer.

  4. The use of water for washing impervious surfaces, such as streets, roads, sidewalks, driveways, parking areas, brick walkways, 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 allowed;

    2. Washing of impervious surfaces at eating and drinking establishments is allowed for sanitation purposes, whether performed by a commercial power washer, staff of the establishment, or some other person;

    3. Use of water for municipal street sweeping is allowed, provided that:
      1. Only treated wastewater is used; and
      2. A sign is prominently displayed on the street sweeping vehicle, clearly indicating that the water used is recycled; and

    4. Washing of impervious surfaces is allowed if the municipal or county health department deems such washing necessary to avert a threat to public health.

  5. Watering of lawns (including athletic fields), trees, shrubs, and vegetable and flower gardens is allowed every other day only, on an "odd-even" basis, with the exceptions set forth at A through D below. "Odd/even" watering means that watering may occur on odd numbered days on the side of the street with odd numbered addresses, and on even numbered days on the side of the street with even numbered addresses. For locations without street addresses, watering may occur on odd numbered days on streets with names starting in "A" through "M", and watering may occur on even numbered days on streets with names starting in "N" through "Z". Exceptions to odd/even watering restrictions are:

    1. Lawn watering by a commercial enterprise engaged in the installation or repair of lawn irrigation systems is allowed on any day, if necessary to test a customer's newly installed or newly repaired sprinkler system;

    2. Watering of a newly planted tree, shrub, flower, or vegetable plant is allowed one time (not once daily) on any day, immediately after planting;

    3. Daily watering of a newly laid sod lawn or a newly seeded grass lawn is allowed for the first 45 days after planting only, starting on the date of planting or sod laying. Documentation of the date of seed planting or sod laying shall be produced upon the request of the appropriate authorities. This provision does not authorize daily watering of "overseeding", that is, of new sod or seed placed to fill in bare spots in established lawn areas; and

    4. Daily watering following treatment of vegetation with a fertilizer, pesticide or herbicide is allowed for two days only, starting on the date that the fertilizer, pesticide or herbicide is applied. Documentation of the date that the treatment was applied shall be produced upon the request of the appropriate authorities. Watering under this provision is allowed no more often than once every three weeks.

  6. The watering of vegetation at a golf course is restricted as follows:

    1. Watering shall be done in accordance with 'The Rutgers Cooperative Extension Best Management Practices for Golf Courses';

    2. Total monthly cumulative water use shall not exceed 80% of the monthly water allocated for that golf course under a Department Water Allocation Permit or Water Use Registration. If water is bought from a purveyor, total monthly cumulative water use shall not exceed 80% of the monthly water contracted for monthly from the purveyor (if there is no contract, 80% of average monthly use for the past five years);

    3. Metered usage from all water sources shall be submitted to the Department's Bureau of Water Allocation monthly, within seven days after the end of each calendar month; and

    4. A golf course that uses only treated wastewater for irrigation in accordance with subsections 12 and/or 13 below is exempt from these restrictions.

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

  8. Washing of buildings (including houses, garages, sheds, commercial buildings, and similar structures), decks, fences, lawn furniture, windows, and similar outdoor use of water for home maintenance and cleaning is restricted as follows:

    1. The homeowner may use only a bucket and sponge for home maintenance and cleaning, or a hose that does not leak and is equipped with a nozzle that shuts off automatically when released; except that a homeowner may use their own power washer if necessary to prepare a surface for painting, staining, or other coating or treatment;

    2. The homeowner may hire a commercial power washer to perform any of the home maintenance and cleaning authorized under this subsection; and

    3. This subsection does not authorize washing of pavement or other impervious surfaces covered under subsection 4 above.

  9. 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.

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

    1. Where treated wastewater is used, provided that an appropriate sign is prominently displayed, clearly indicating that the water used is treated wastewater; or

    2. Where the municipal or county health department deems that sewer flushing is necessary to avert a threat to public health, in which case any type of water may be used.

  11. Aquifer pumping tests that use more than 60 gallons per minute for more than 24 hours are prohibited, unless:

    1. The test is necessary for a groundwater remediation project, or a NJPDES discharge to groundwater permit;

    2. The test is necessary for 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.

  12. In order to promote the use of treated wastewater for uses that do not require potable water, domestic treatment works may make available treated wastewater that meets all New Jersey Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems (NJPDES) permit requirements provided all of the following criteria are met:

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

    2. The treated wastewater and the use conform with the Department's "Technical Manual for Reclaimed Water for Beneficial Reuse" (Adobe Acrobat PDF document);

    3. Any prior approval for use of treated wastewater, in an existing NJPDES permit, remains valid except where the treatment plant discharge is upstream of an area for which a Department-established minimum required passing flow for the receiving water body is not being met. In those cases, prior approvals are revoked for the duration of the declared water emergency;

    4. If there is no prior NJPDES approval for the planned use of treated wastewater, a treatment works shall, prior to allowing the use, obtain written approval from the Department's Division of Water Quality (401 East State St., P.O. Box 029, Trenton, NJ 08625-0029. The written approval must be issued after the effective date of Administrative Order 2002-05;

    5. 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;

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

    7. Domestic treatment works shall maintain a list of users of treated wastewater, including the name of the user, date of pickup, number of gallons, and the location and means of use and/or discharge; and

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

  13. The Department may authorize a discharge of treated wastewater to the surface and/or ground waters of the State if the Department finds that such a discharge is 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, and no discharge shall begin until the Department's authorization has been issued. Within ten calendar days after receiving an emergency authorization for such a discharge, the water treatment facility shall submit an application for a discharge permit to the Department.
Section II. General Provisions Applicable Statewide

  1. These restrictions and authorizations shall apply equally to all water users, 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.

  2. For the purposes of this Order, commercial enterprise means: A person, proprietorship, partnership, corporation or other form of business enterprise, regularly engaged in an activity for profit.

  3. The Department is continuing to hold in abeyance all decisions on pending applications for diversion and/or disposal under N.J.A.C. 7:36 or any pending application for conveyance of State property under N.J.S.A. 13:1D-51 et seq. where, in its sole discretion, the Department has determined that granting such applications may have an adverse impact on the State's water supply.

  4. The Department is continuing to hold in abeyance all decisions on applications for new or modified Water Allocation Permits and Water Use Registrations under N.J.A.C. 7:19. Holders of current Water Allocation Permits and Water Use Registrations shall not increase their individual monthly usage above the average monthly rate for that month for the past two years, except upon notification to the Department.

  5. Each owner and/or operator of a "Sand Pool" shall submit a comprehensive report on the Sand Pool, including, at a minimum, the information required at A through I below. This report shall be submitted to the address in item I below no later than July 15, 2002. This provision applies to all Sand Pools, whether publicly or privately owned. For the purposes of this Administrative Order, a "Sand Pool" is any water body with a water level that is maintained by the pumping of more than 25,000 gallons of water per day into the water body. The following information shall be included in the report:

    1. The name(s) and address(es) of all owner(s) of the Sand Pool;

    2. The approximate number of people who use the Sand Pool;

    3. The dimensions of the Sand Pool, including depth, width, and capacity;

    4. A detailed description of the material that forms the bottom and sides of the Sand Pool (for example, partially lined with concrete, partially lined with sand);

    5. The source of the water that is pumped into the Sand Pool, including the location of each well or surface water intake that provides water for pumping into the Sand Pool;

    6. The number of gallons pumped into the Sand Pool per day, per month, and per season;

    7. The type of treatment, if any, that the water receives prior to being discharged into the Sand Pool, and/or any treatment applied to the water while it is in the Sand Pool;

    8. How water leaves the Sand Pool, e.g., through infiltration, overflow, or similar mechanism. If water overflows the pool, the receiving water body must be identified; and

    9. The report shall be submitted to: DEP Drought Coordinator (Sand Pools), P.O. Box 426, Trenton, New Jersey 08625.

  6. I hereby continue my previous designation of the Drought Coordinator to act on my behalf in the implementation and clarification of the drought emergency requirements, including passing flow adjustments, and water transfers, as provided under N.J.A.C. 7:19, during this water supply emergency.

  7. 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.

  8. These restrictions and authorizations may be modified and/or supplemented through additional Administrative Orders.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

Date: June 20, 2002 _________________
  Bradley M. Campbell


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