Township Statement on Late Summer Lawn Watering Ban
Posted: October 31, 2016
Over the past several months, many residents questioned why the lawn watering ban was implemented.
At the July 28, 2016 council meeting, the township council voted to impose a temporary lawn watering ban for all areas of the township served by Randolph public water for the period August 3, 2016 through September 30, 2016. Prior to their decision, the township council considered information from various sources, including a recommendation from the township engineer.
The ban was enacted in response to the state issued drought watch from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). It was not a state-enacted ban, however, and municipal entities were left to their own discretion as to which measure to enact, which is why some municipalities enacted bans and others did not.
The township of Randolph has a limit to the amount of water it can draw from its bulk supplier, the Morris County Municipal Utility Authority (MCMUA). Peaks in water demand adversely impact the township, and exceeding the monthly allocation for water from the MCMUA would put a five year moratorium on new connections as mandated by the NJDEP. It would also ban lawn watering indefinitely.
Therefore, the township decided a temporary restriction on lawn watering was the best approach to the water conservation objectives outlined in the drought warning. The goal was to decrease water usage for the August through September timeframe, as there is typically a high water demand due to lawn watering during the hotter, drier summer months.
The lawn watering ban significantly reduced the township’s water usage for the months of August and September as compared to last year’s use during the same period. There was a decrease of 24,835,000 gallons in the month of August, and a decrease of 13,296,000 gallons in the month of September. This decrease helps ensure that the township will be able to maintain responsible water usage and allow for expansion of the water lines.
Subsequently, on October 21, 2016, the NJDEP issued a drought warning for Morris County among others, which urges residents, businesses and institutions in 14 counties to use water sparingly. This was the first drought warning issued by the state since 2001.