Drink Up. The Water Is Fine, Says Montclair Township

The Montclair Township wants to reassure residents the drinking water is safe. Concerns were raised when Governor Chris Christie declared a state of water emergency–which is still in effect–after Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey over two weeks ago. The power outages left some of the state’s water facilities operating on generators, which led to the need for water conservation to place less stress on an overburdened water system, said Christie.

The township’s Director of Utilities for Water and Sanitary Sewer, Gary Obszarny, wants to remind everyone that Governor Christie’s directive has nothing to do with drinking water. “We’re hearing that people are concerned. But this is a sewage water problem, not a drinking water quality problem,” said Obszarny. “The state wants everyone to cut down on water use, so that less water is going into the sewage water treatment plant in Newark that’s not yet working properly.”

Here’s the list of water use restrictions, prohibitions and exemptions:

  • All indoor water use, including showers, baths and domestic cleaning, must be conducted with minimum amounts of water;
  • Non-essential outdoor water use is prohibited;
  • Watering of grass, lawns and landscapes is prohibited except for newly sodded or seeded areas done by professional landscapers or immediately following a commercial application of fertilizer, pesticide or herbicides; minimum amount of water should be used during these applications;
  • Use of water for washing paved surfaces, such as streets, sidewalks, driveways, garages, parking lots and patios is prohibited;
  • Outdoor use of water for ornamental or aesthetic purposes, including fountains, artificial waterfalls, and reflecting pools is prohibited, except to preserve or support wildlife
  • Use of water for municipal street sweeping is allowed only with non-potable water and with minimal use necessary;
  • Use of water for power washing of buildings is prohibited except for commercial enterprises engaged in power washing, and with minimum water use;
  • Car and truck washing, except for emergency vehicles, is prohibited;
  • Commercial car washing is allowed but with reduced rinse cycles and use of recycled water for pre-rinsing of vehicles;
  • Cars and trucks at dealerships may only be washed just prior to delivery, with wash time limited to three minutes;
  • Serving of water in restaurants, clubs, or other eating establishments is prohibited unless specifically requested by patrons.


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