[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the Borough of Milford as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Water Emergencies
[Adopted 12-20-1999 by Ord. No. 646-99]
The Milford Borough Common Council shall have the authority to control the use of privately owned wells during periods of drought as provided for herein.
The seriousness of drought conditions shall be established by monitoring monthly rainfall amounts based on records maintained by the Hunterdon County Office of Emergency Management and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The criteria for establishing drought conditions and the extent of the water emergency shall be based on a three-month rolling average of precipitation reduced to the equivalent inches of water, measure of stream flow, water quality, groundwater levels and time of year and other relevant criteria. The above factors shall also be utilized to determine the transition from one level of water emergency to the next.
Whenever the three-month rolling average of rainfall is less than 75% of the average monthly rainfall, the Milford Borough Common Council shall have the authority to declare a Level 2 water emergency. If a Level 2 water emergency is declared, the following shall be prohibited:
Whenever the three-month rolling average of rainfall is less than 50% of the average monthly rainfall, the Borough of Milford Common Council shall have the authority to declare a Level 1 water emergency. If a Level 1 water emergency is declared, the following shall be prohibited in addition to those items prohibited if a Level 2 water emergency is declared:
The watering of all plant growth, except commercially grown food crops.
The washing of vehicles, except by businesses engaged exclusively in car washing or in those instances where a threat to the public health exists.
The washing of streets, driveways, sidewalks or paved areas.
The serving of water in restaurants, clubs or eating places, unless specifically requested by a patron.
The use of fire hydrants by fire companies for testing fire apparatus and for Fire Department drills except as is necessary in the interest of public safety as specifically provided by the municipal government and water provider, and the use of fire hydrants by the Milford Borough Department of Public Works or its contractors and all others, except as necessary for firefighting or protection purposes.
All water used for outdoor recreational purposes.
In the event that a Level 1 water emergency persists three months after the declaration of the same by the Common Council and/or well failures occur after a Level 1 emergency is declared, the Hunterdon County Division of Public Health Services may impose further restrictions as follows:
The further restriction of water use to all sectors and the selective curtailment of water use of large industrial users based upon water consumption per work site, number of employees, the essential nature of the industry and other pertinent data.
After evaluating the essential nature of the industry and other pertinent data, the first priority for curtailment shall be those industries for high water use and low number of employees per work site relative to such water use.
For any person or entity wishing to be exempt, in whole or in part, from the curtailment of or ban on residential and industrial uses as a result of a Level 2 or Level 1 water emergency declared by the Common Council, such individual or entity may apply for an exemption to the Milford Borough Common Council in accordance with the following procedures:
The applicant shall submit his request for an exemption, together with full documentation supporting the request, to the attention of the Common Council.
The applicant's submission shall include a demonstration that extraordinary hardship will occur and that no reasonable alternative exists if the exemption is not granted.
After reviewing the application, the Common Council shall notify the applicant in writing of the results of this review and the reasons for its decision on the exemption request. Before making a decision, the Common Council may request the applicant to supply additional information and documentation. An approval of an exemption request by the Common Council may be rescinded should the public health, safety and welfare require further reduction of water use.
An exemption granted to an applicant for a specific property, person or persons is not transferable to any other person without the consent of the Common Council, which may be obtained by submitting a request to the Common Council with full documentation accompanying the same.
For the purposes of this article, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
- INDUSTRIAL USERS
- Those nonresidential users excluding multiple dwellings and health care facilities.
- RESIDENTIAL USERS
- All users of water who reside in a single-family structure housing no more than four families and a multiple-family dwelling with no more than four families being served by one meter.
- WATER EMERGENCY
- A declaration by the Common Council that there exists or is impending a water supply shortage and/or water quality emergency of such a dimension which sufficiently impacts water supply in the form of the reduction of water levels in wells within the Borough thereby endangering the public health, safety and welfare.
Prior to the declaration of an actual water emergency, the Common Council may call for actions to be taken on a nonemergency basis to reduce the likelihood or impact of an impending emergency or such situations which involve a lack of precipitation by issuing a drought warning to the residents of the Borough of Milford.
All users of water within the Borough of Milford are, during drought conditions, subject to Phase 1 mandatory restrictions as defined by the State of New Jersey and are subject to the following limitations:
The adjustable uses of water are regulated as follows:
The watering of grassed areas is prohibited, except as noted below:
Newly seeded or sodded grassed areas may be watered for 20 days from date of planting from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. or from 12:00 midnight to 6:00 a.m., with watering not to exceed 45 minutes per area watered on any one day. Watering of newly sodded areas with sprinklers within one hour after laying is permitted.
Grassed areas may be watered after application of fertilizer, pesticide or herbicide for a period not to exceed five days from the date of application from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. or from 12:00 midnight to 6:00 a.m., with watering not to exceed 45 minutes per area watered on any one day.
Those construction-related projects that must comply with the Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Act, N.J.S.A. 4:24-39 et seq., and its supporting regulations, found in N.J.A.C. 2:90-1.1 et seq., are allowed to water for not more than 60 days from the day of planting from 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. for the installation and establishment of temporary and/or permanent vegetative coverings of critical areas as designated in any soil erosion control plan pursuant to the provisions of the Act, as amended. An area is classified as critical when it is characterized by any of the following conditions, upon the determination of the responsible Soil Conservation District official:
Grassed waterways designed to carry peak concentrated flows from ten-year storm frequency that require vegetative protection to control erosion or where the design velocity exceeds that for bare channel;
Slopes and banks (cuts and fills) resulting from construction activities where the slope and length exceed 15% and 50 feet or 8% and 100 feet; or
Companies engaging in the installation or repair of lawn irrigation systems may test the customer's newly installed or newly repaired sprinkler system for a maximum of 10 minutes per sprinkler zone. During the period of the test, a sign shall be displayed on the front lawn which shall be at least four feet by four feet in size, with lettering large enough to be clearly visible from the nearest road. The sign shall read:
AUTHORIZED LIMITED TESTING OF SPRINKLER SYSTEM
Except as set forth in Subsection A(1) of this section, the watering of plants, trees, shrubs and vegetable gardens is prohibited by any means other than by bucket, can or handheld hose equipment with a nozzle which will be shut off automatically when dropped.
The watering of agricultural food crops is exempted at this time. In addition to the watering provided for in Subsection A(2) above, watering of sod at commercial sod farms and nursery stock at nurseries or retail outlets may be watered with sprinklers or other means as follows:
Field-grown production: daily watering is permitted during the hours of 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Container-grown production: daily watering is permitted during the hours of 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Syringe of water-stressed plants is permitted as required between the hours of 12:00 noon and 3:00 p.m., with no more than 10 minutes of watering allowed in the same area.
Retail sales: daily watering is permitted between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
The washing of any vehicles except ambulances and fire engines is prohibited except by businesses engaged exclusively in car washing or in those instances where a threat to public health may exist as certified by the Common Council. The following requirements shall be met at all commercial car washing facilities:
Pre-rinses of vehicles shall be permitted only with recycled water.
Rinse cycles shall be 40 seconds or less per vehicle. This may be accomplished by increasing conveyor speeds. Additional measures shall be implemented such as reducing the size of water nozzles, where possible, and plugging all unnecessary outflows, further reducing consumption.
All fixtures and equipment shall be inspected for leaks on a daily basis. Necessary repairs shall be made immediately. 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.
The use of water in the sweeping or washing of streets, driveways or sidewalks or paved areas is prohibited, except as follows:
Municipal street sweeping is allowed, provided that a nonpotable water source is used, the minimum amount of water is applied, and that an appropriate sign clearly indicating nonpotable water utilized be affixed on the street sweeping vehicle.
In those instances where a threat to public health may exist as certified by the Common Council, the minimum amount of water should be used to accomplish the given task.
The serving of water in restaurants, clubs or eating places is prohibited, unless specifically requested by the patron.
The use of water for flushing sewers by municipalities or any public or private entity is prohibited except where a threat to public health or safety may exist as certified by the Milford Borough Common Council.
The use of fire hydrants by fire companies for testing or Fire Department drills is prohibited, except as being necessary in the interest of public safety and specifically approved by the municipal governing body and the purveyor.
The outdoor use of any water for ornamental purposes, including fountains, artificial waterfalls and reflecting pools, is prohibited.
Any violators of this article shall be subject to penalties as follows:
Level 1 water emergency violators: $100 for the first offense; $150 for the second offense; and $200 for the third offense and each subsequent offense.
Level 2 water emergency violators: $50 for the first offense; $75 for the second offense; and $100 for the third offense and each subsequent offense.
Each day a violation continues shall be deemed a separate offense for the purpose of this article. Notwithstanding, if an offender has been ordered to cease once during a twenty-four-hour period, but commits the same violation, it shall be considered a second or subsequent offense. Further, each violation shall be tried or heard separately and is separate and apart from any other violation or occurrence.
Violations of this article shall be enforceable by summons and complaint issued by the Borough of Milford Common Council, or its agent, or the Hunterdon County Division of Public Health Services, or its agent or designee, in the Borough of Milford Municipal Court. The Hunterdon County Division of Public Health Services is vested with the authority to file complaints for violations of this article on behalf of the Borough of Milford Common Council.
To the extent that the Governor of the State of New Jersey, acting through the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, and the Governor or the Commissioner exercises his emergency powers vested pursuant to N.J.S.A. 58:1A-1 et seq., the Commissioner and the Governor may impose upon users, during a water emergency, restrictions and requirements pursuant to the above provisions, notwithstanding any local law. To the extent those restrictions are more stringent than those contained herewith, all users within the Borough of Milford who have wells shall be subject to the provisions of the above-cited statute and the conditions applicable to well users imposed by the State of New Jersey.