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Water Conservation Ordinance Finally Introduced

An ordinance designed to save water by limiting how some residents can water their lawns was introduced at the Township Council’s Aug. 12 meeting.

The ordinance has been a pet project of Councilman Ted Chase (D-Ward 1) for several years. Chase thought the ordinance was going to be introduced in March, but objections brought by Deputy Mayor Brian Regan (D-At Large) derailed that.

A committee was formed after the March meeting to take another look at the ordinance, and what was introduced is a “watered-down” version of the previous proposed ordinance, Chase said.

Under the ordinance, residents who use well water on lots smaller than 40,000 square feet in the R-20, R-15, R-10, R-10A, R-10B, R-7, R-7 SF, R-7 2F, C-R SF, C-R 2F, C-R APT TNH, N-B and O-P zones would be restricted to watering their lawns to twice a week. Properties with even-number addresses would water on even-numbered days, and odd-numbered properties would be watered on odd-numbered days.

Homeowners’ associations will choose either odd- or even-number days.

The last iteration of the ordinance also required that a log be kept of watering days; that was eliminated from the version finally introduced.

Watering would be recommended to be done before 9 a.m or after 5 p.m., and only for 30 minutes at a time.

The ordinance would only be advisory to residents who live on larger lots, or who are on public water.

The previously proposed ordinance imposed requirements on irrigation systems that were dropped in the ordinance introduced on Aug, 12. The ordinance now suggests that users of irrigation systems do so between midnight and 10 a.m. two days a week, with spray heads running for 15 minutes at a time and sprinklers running up to 50 minutes.

The ordinance does not change any of the requirements during a water shortage.

A second reading and final vote on the ordinance is scheduled for the council’s Sept. 9 meeting.

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