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Administrative Order 2002-15

I, Bradley M. Campbell, Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (Department), pursuant to the authority vested in me by Executive Order No. 11, issued by Governor James E. McGreevey on March 4, 2002, 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, by previously issued Administrative Order Nos. 2002-05, 2002-07, and 2002-14, hereby adjust the lawn watering restrictions currently in place in New Jersey. This Administrative Order is intended to amend and supplement previously issued Administrative Orders Nos. 2002-05, 2002-07, and 2002-14. Administrative Order Nos. 2002-05, 2002-07, and 2002-14 shall remain in effect.

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 experience a drought due to a significant long-term precipitation deficit, compounded by below normal levels in surface and ground water supplies. However, the current restrictions on outdoor water use have had unintended impacts upon certain business sectors. In order to moderate demands and be equitable to all business sectors within the various drought regions, additional actions are necessary at this time.

Accordingly, based upon the powers of the Commissioner during a water emergency, set forth in the Water Supply Allocation Rules at N.J.A.C. 7:19-10.2, I undertake the following actions to help alleviate the severity of the water emergency. The provisions of Administrative Order 2002-05 that are affected by this Order are shown in italics below.

SECTION I. Statewide Water Use Restrictions

The restrictions imposed by Administrative Order 2002-05 upon the watering of lawns, set forth in Section I, subsection 8; upon the watering of trees, shrubs, and vegetable and flower gardens, set forth in Section I, subsection 9; and upon the watering of athletic playing fields, set forth in Section I, subsection 10, are hereby superseded by the following:

  1. 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, 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;
      3. The watering may occur only between 2:00 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 2:00 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 six weeks.

    3. A commercial landscaper may perform watering authorized under A., B., or D. of this subsection, during normal seasonal working hours outside of the hours listed, provided that:
      1. Watering is performed by a means designed and operated to assure effective conservation in accordance with 'The Rutgers Cooperative Extension Best Management Practices for Watering Lawns.' (Note: this document is available on the Rutgers Cooperative Extension drought website at http://drought.rutgers.edu/landscaping);
      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 two feet wide by two 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
        State Certification Number
        Address
        Telephone Number

      3. A property owner may then continue to water in accordance with A., B., or D. of this subsection.
      4. Documentation of the planting or application date shall be produced upon the request of the appropriate authorities.

    4. Lawn watering is permitted, in accordance with the timing limits in Section I, subsection 8A above, 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 two feet wide by two 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
        State Certification Number
        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 impervious surfaces are included in the area watered.

  2. The watering of trees, shrubs, and vegetable and flower gardens is permitted every other day on an odd-even basis. That is, watering may occur on odd numbered days on the side of the street with odd numbered street addresses, and on even numbered days on the side of the street with even numbered street 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". Such watering is permitted within the following limits:

    1. The water shall be applied with any of the following:
      1. A watering can;
      2. A hand held hose that does not leak, and is equipped with a nozzle that automatically shuts off when released;
      3. An alternative irrigation technology that minimizes water use and is used with a timer to ensure watering for no more than 2 hours per area watered. Examples of acceptable alternative irrigation technologies are low-pressure water delivery systems that lie directly on or in the ground such as perforated soaker hoses, emitters or drip tube devices;
      4. A tree ring or tree bag (a commercially available device placed on the ground around a tree or plant, which is filled with a discrete amount of water and which gradually releases the water into the soil); or
      5. A permanently installed sprinkler system designed to water only trees, shrubs, vegetable or flower gardens. If such a sprinkler system is used no area shall be watered for longer than 45 minutes. If the watering is done with an installed sprinkler system that is designed and installed to water both lawns and trees, shrubs, and vegetable and flower gardens, the watering shall comply with the applicable lawn watering limits set forth in Section I, subsection 8 above.

    2. Plants may be watered once immediately after planting, in accordance with Ai or Aii above.

    3. Watering under this subsection shall occur only between 2:00 A.M. and
      9:00 A.M. and between 5:00 P.M. and 8:00 P.M.

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

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

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

  3. 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 no more frequently than every other day, 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
Section II. Lawn Watering Exemptions for the Central, Northwest, Southwest, Coastal South and Coastal North Drought Regions
See www.njdrought.org for a list of drought regions

Section II of Administrative Order 2002-05 regarding the watering of lawns, vegetation other than lawns (trees, shrubs, flower and vegetable gardens), and athletic fields, is hereby superseded by the following:

  1. In the Central and Coastal North Drought Regions, lawn watering is permitted on an "odd-even" basis. Watering may occur on odd numbered days on the side of the street with odd numbered street addresses, and on even numbered days on the side of the street with even numbered street 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".

  2. In the Northwest, Southwest, and Coastal South Drought Regions, lawn watering may occur on Tuesdays and Thursdays on the side of the street with odd numbered street addresses and on Wednesdays and Fridays on the side of the street with even numbered street addresses. For locations without street addresses, watering may occur on Tuesdays and Thursdays on streets with names starting in "A" through "M", and watering may occur on Wednesdays and Fridays on streets with names starting in "N" through "Z".

  3. Watering under this section may occur within the following limits:
    1. The amount of water used shall be the minimum necessary to establish and maintain the grass;
    2. The watering may occur only between 2:00 A.M. and 9:00 A.M. and between 5:00 P.M. and 8:00 P.M.;
    3. The watering shall not exceed 45 minutes per area watered on any one day;
    4. All watering authorized herein shall be performed in such a way that no puddling or runoff occurs; and
    5. All watering authorized herein shall be performed in such a way that no impervious surfaces are included in the area watered.

  4. The provisions for lawn watering in the Northwest, Southwest and Coastal South drought regions, set forth in 2 above, shall expire at the end of a trial period, at the close of business on June 28, 2002, unless extended or otherwise modified.

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. This Order amends and supplements, and is intended to be read and implemented in conjunction with, Administrative Order Nos. 2002-05, 2002-07 and 2002-14. All other sections of Administrative Order Nos. 2002-05, 2002-07 and 2002-14 not amended herewith continue in force unaltered.



Date: April 29, 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