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No End In Sight For Strict Ridgewood Water Restrictions

Some Ridgewood residents continue to use automated sprinklers despite State 4 restrictions.
Some Ridgewood residents continue to use automated sprinklers despite State 4 restrictions. Photo Credit: Daily Voice

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. – Ridgewood's Stage 4 watering restrictions have helped decrease water usage, but a dry forecast means the strict limitations won't be lifted anytime soon, the village told residents late Monday night.

Water usage decreased by about 50 percent from the highs of August and early September, said Roberta Sonenfeld, village manager. However, weather forecasts for the next few days show no rain so State 4 restrictions will continue.

"We will continue our heightened enforcement," she said. "I know some of you have expressed dismay that we are not ticketing every residence and that there are still residents that are flagrant violators – we will continue to be vigilant about this."

No irrigation of any kind is allowable on Mondays, Thursdays, or Fridays. Irrigation using only a hand-held hose with a spray nozzle is permitted for odd-numbered addresses only on Tuesdays and Saturdays and for even-numbered addresses on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Waivers for special circumstances such as irrigating newly planted lawns and shrubs, cleaning cars or houses, and filling swimming pools will now be considered on a case by case basis. To be considered for waivers, please contact Ridgewood Water at 201-670-5520 or email Customer Service at cswater@ridgewoodnj.net.

Sonenfeld said Ridgewood has different restrictions than other municipalities.

"The Ridgewood Water System is unlike many other systems as it relies on a system of over 45 wells, associated treatment systems, piping, storage and more," she said. "These appurtenances have their limits and become extremely stressed when there is noncompliance with watering restrictions during a drought condition. This is part of the problem we had when we were in Stage 2 watering restrictions. During a peak summer day with irrigation systems running, water production can more than double reaching limits as high as 14 million gallons per day. Some think the crux of the problem is lack of storage but during the conditions we have been experiencing we cannot even fill the tanks completely."

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