Burlco town to begin imposing annual water restrictions

Tuesday, May 5, 2015
VIDEO: Water restrictions to begin in Burlingtown County town
Annual water restrictions will begin in the coming weeks in Moorestown, New Jersey.

MOORESTOWN, N.J. (WPVI) -- Annual water restrictions will begin in the coming weeks for one Burlington County town.

While it's a problem for some homeowners, others don't seem to mind.

Either way, officials say it's a must this time of year.

Water usage triples in the summer when people are turning on sprinkler systems and hoses. Residents can still do that, but they will soon have to follow a schedule.

Moorestown, New Jersey's mandatory water restrictions are starting on the 15th and that's okay with resident Mike Jones.

"I think it's a good idea. Look, it's conservation and the next thing we know if we don't do it and adhere to it then what kind of problems are we going to have?" he said.

Jones hasn't turned the spigot on outside his house yet but he is getting ready for the annual restrictions, which ban sprinkler system use between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and uses and odd/even system for watering properties.

Handheld hoses are allowed at all times on permitted days.

"Usually in the wintertime our water usage is around 2 million gallons per day. When the irrigation system start we go from 2.2 to maybe 6.2 million gallons per day," says Moorestown Utilities Superintendent Bill Butler.

"People want people to drive up and say Moorestown is a beautiful place and look how they keep their yards. As long as everyone else is doing it I don't mind if my grass is a little brown, too," said Moorestown resident Becky Schriber.

Schriber installed soaker hoses to water the new trees she put in, but has decided against putting sod down where the kids swingset used to be.

"With the water restrictions we're not gonna be able to water it," she says.

Moorestown has two municipal wells currently shut down after a contaminant called 123 TCP was discovered in 2013. Township officials say the water restrictions have nothing to do with that and they are waiting for an engineers report on the closed well.

"That will guide us on how we proceed. We're also working with the New Jersey DEP to come up with the proper treatment plan," says Scott Carew, Township Manager

Moorestown is paying $15,000 a day to buy additional water for the Township and officials have activated the Kings Highway treatment plant to help pump water during the summer demand. Residents may notice some discoloration the next few days as that flow scours the water mains.

Superintendent Bill Butler has a simple message for residents: "Just conserve water as much as you can because we're gonna need it this summer."

Many other towns in the area will be also imposing water restrictions in the coming weeks including Evesham, Mt. Laurel and Pennsauken to name a few.