[Adopted 10-17-2016 by Ord. No. 17-2016]
The purpose of this article is to provide for the conservation and protection of water and water resources for the use of the inhabitants of the Township whenever any conditions exist which threaten, endanger, impede or reduce the plentiful supply of water in the Township, thereby promoting the public health, comfort, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the Township.
A water emergency shall exist in any part of the municipality when declared by proclamation of the Mayor or, in the absence of the Mayor, by the Acting Mayor or by emergency order of the Township Manager or his designee. The declaration shall state the nature of the emergency, the restrictions imposed, any authorized exceptions thereto and the estimated duration of the emergency restrictions; provided, however, that the emergency restrictions shall remain in effect until lifted, regardless of the estimated duration for the emergency restrictions.
Whenever a water emergency is declared, the declaration shall contain findings which specify which water use restrictions, if any, are appropriate. Factors which may be considered in making such a declaration include, but are not limited to, the following:
Lack of precipitation for an extended time period;
Below-average water levels in Township streams or other surface water bodies;
Administrative actions taken by the Delaware River Basin Commission in relation to stream flows in the Delaware River;
Declaration of a water emergency by the Governor;
Declaration of a water emergency by a surrounding municipality or municipalities;
Designation by the New Jersey Department of Environmental of a drought watch or drought warning condition;
Below-average water levels in wells monitored by the United States Geological Survey or other wells monitored by agencies of the United States; and
Evidence of low or dirty water yields in private wells in the Township.
Reasonable attempt shall be made to notify affected property owners of the existence of a water emergency, the duration of the emergency declaration, restrictions imposed and the penalties for violations.
Any water use restriction imposed pursuant to this article may be amended to add, alter or delete any restriction at any time during the water emergency.
If at the expiration of the emergency declaration the Township finds that the underlying conditions for which the emergency was called have not been abated, the Township may extend the duration of the emergency declaration as may be necessary for the health, safety and welfare of the public.
All residents and businesses are urged to observe voluntary indoor conservation measures.
In addition to the restrictions set forth in Article VI, the following use restrictions may be imposed in the emergency declaration:
The watering of all plant growth;
The washing of vehicles, except for emergency vehicles and by a commercial enterprise whose primary function is car washing, regardless of whether the operation is mobile or stationary or in those instances where a threat to public health may exist;
The washing of streets, driveways, sidewalks, decks, patios or paved areas;
The serving of water in restaurants, clubs, or eating places unless specifically requested by patrons;
The use of fire hydrants by fire companies for testing fire apparatus and for Fire Department drills except as the Township Fire Chief deems necessary in the interest of public safety;
The use of fire hydrants by municipal road departments, contractors, and all others, except as necessary for firefighting or protection purposes;
The use of water for all outdoor recreational purposes;
The washing of outside of dwellings, buildings, or other structures, except windows;
The operation of any ornamental fountain or other structure making a similar use of water except as necessary to preserve or support fish and aquatic life; and
Any other water use activity specified by the declaration which is reasonable under the circumstances considering the nature and extent of the water emergency.
Any water use restriction imposed pursuant to this article may apply to users served by a private-owned well(s), if necessary.
Nothing in this section shall be read so as to prohibit, restrict or limit water usage where a bona fide health emergency exists.
Any police officer of the Township who shall observe any person using or withdrawing water in violation of this article shall issue a summons and complaint to the violator, returnable before the Moorestown Township Municipal Court.
The Township Manager or any authorized employee of the Department of Public Works, who shall observe any person using or withdrawing water in violation of this article, may sign a complaint against the violator, and, upon a complaint having been so signed, the Clerk of the Moorestown Township Municipal Court or other person authorized by applicable law, shall cause to be issued a summons against said violator, returnable before the Moorestown Township Municipal Court.
After a warning for a first offense, any person or business that thereafter violates this article shall be subject to the penalties in accordance with Chapter 66, Penalties for Code Violations.