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NJ DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION NEWS RELEASE

RELEASE: 3/15/02
02/14

CONTACT: Elaine Makatura 609-292-9289

DEP Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell Orders Water Interconnection Inspections

Water Restrictions Amended To Ensure Adequate Supply

For Immediate Release: Friday, March 15, 2002 Contact: Elaine Makatura 609-292-9289

(02/14) Trenton, NJ-- In an effort to address the emergent demands resulting from New Jersey's serious water shortage, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today issued revised water usage restrictions supplementing the original mandates outlined on Monday.

"We continue to evaluate daily the impacts of mandated water reductions on all segments of the public, private, local and regulated communities," said Commissioner Campbell. "I'm asking all of our communities to pull together. We need strong coordination to get through this drought emergency," he added.

The order highlights the necessity to ensure that the drought restrictions apply specifically to the state's immediate needs, incorporate adequate safeguards for futu re water supply concerns, fully protect the public and sustain New Jersey's economy.

The order mandates the following water usage directives:

Every water supplier must perform a complete inventory of existing interconnections to determine the capability of the water supply infrastructure. All public systems serving 10,000 people or more will submit an interconnection integrity report to the department.

Temporarily, the department will not issue any new or modified water allocation permits or registrations. If usage peaks above recent average levels, the department must be given written notification.

Water releases from Lake Hopatcong will be reduced to maximize water storage for future emergency needs.

A newly constructed or installed swimming pool (hot tub, spa, or jacuzzi) may be filled once using water from the municipal water source as long as the local water supplier approves it. A pool drained before March 11, 2002 can be refilled. A pool can be drained one time only to make repairs for structural integrity and then refilled. Topping of pools is permitted. Unnecessary discharges are prohibited for purposes other than adequate filtration.

All open burning permits are suspended, except for outdoor barbecues and religious ceremonies. Recreational fire permits and other open burning permits will be restricted, administered and coordinated through the New Jersey Forest Fire Service.

Dennis Hart, the Drought Coordinator, has been given the authority to implement and clarify drought requirements.

"I urge everyone to think 'water conservation' and to cut back on water usage," said Campbell. "One or two days of rainfall is not enough to bring our waterways up to normal levels."

With the exception of the above provisions, the original restrictions will remain in effect.

For more information call the DEP drought hotline at 1-800-448-7379 or access the web page at www.njdrought.org.

 

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