[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Pennsauken as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Emergency Water Use Restrictions
[Adopted 9-13-1989 by Ord. No. 89-42]
Protracted periods of high temperatures and limited rainfall may cause excessive demands upon the water system of the Merchantville-Pennsauken Water Commission, and a temporary lack of sufficient water capacity may result in a lowering of the normal water levels of the sources of water supply to the Merchantville-Pennsauken Water Commission, and the excessive use of water during the spring, summer and fall months caused by sprinkling of lawns, filling of swimming pools, car washing and other similar use not related to the use of water for domestic and sanitary purposes and fire protection may cause a serious reduction in adequate pressure in the water distribution systems of the franchise area of the Merchantville-Pennsauken Water Commission, which includes residents of this municipality. In the interest of the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of this municipality, it is necessary to take all reasonable precautions and measures promptly to conserve water and maintain such water pressure as is necessary for sanitary, domestic and firefighting purposes.
In case of an emergency where the available supply of water becomes dangerously low, the Merchantville-Pennsauken Water Commission will notify the Mayor, in writing, of the existence of a water emergency. The notification shall state that an emergency exists requiring the implementation of such measures for the conservation of water for domestic and sanitary purposes and fire protection as are specified in §§ 308-3 and 308-4.
The declaration of emergency shall specify whether the emergency is one requiring full curtailment or partial curtailment of nonessential water usage as defined herein.
"Full curtailment of nonessential water usage" shall mean an absolute prohibition of the use of water from the Merchantville-Pennsauken Water Commission system for the sprinkling of lawns, filling of swimming pools, car washing and other related uses until the emergency shall be terminated by declaration of the Merchantville-Pennsauken Water Commission.
"Partial curtailment of nonessential water usage" shall mean the prohibition of the use of water from the Merchantville-Pennsauken Water Commission system for sprinkling of lawns, filling of swimming pools, car washing and other related uses or any of the foregoing on certain days of the week and/or during certain hours of the day. The terms of the partial curtailment shall be set forth in the declaration.
In case of any such emergency declaration, as that term is described herein, the terms of the curtailment may be modified by amendment from time to time based on any change in emergent conditions.
The use and withdrawal of water by any person during a water emergency for the following purposes is hereby prohibited:
Watering yards. The sprinkling, watering or irrigation of shrubbery, trees, lawns, grass, round covers, plants, vines, gardens, vegetables, flowers or any other vegetation.
Washing mobile equipment. The washing of automobiles, trucks, trailers, or any other type of mobile equipment.
Cleaning outdoor surfaces. The washing of sidewalks, walkways, driveways, porches and other outdoor surfaces.
Cleaning buildings. The washing of the outside of dwellings; the washing of the inside and outside of office buildings.
Cleaning equipment and machinery. The washing and cleaning of any business or industrial equipment and machinery.
Ornamental fountains. The operation of any ornamental fountain or other structure making a similar use of water.
Swimming pools. Filling of swimming and wading pools.
Immediately following the passage of any of the emergency declarations hereinbefore described, a copy of the declaration shall be published in the Courier Post and one other newspaper circulated in the municipality and posted throughout the municipality in the Municipal Building, police headquarters and the offices of the Merchantville-Pennsauken Water Commission.
The declaration of any emergency shall be conclusive of the fact of the existence of such emergency and shall be binding upon all persons and users upon the filing of the same in the office of the Municipal Clerk and the publication thereof in at least one newspaper circulated in the municipality.
The declaration of emergency shall continue in full force and effect, except as amended, until terminated by a resolution of termination adopted by the Merchantville-Pennsauken Water Commission.
During the water emergency, all premises receiving water from the Merchantville-Pennsauken Water Commission system shall be subject to inspection between sunrise and sunset by the Commission's employees or any other person duly authorized and appointed by the municipality or Commission to perform inspections to oversee compliance during the water emergency. It shall be a violation of this article for any person to hinder, obstruct, delay, resist or prevent any such inspection as is described herein. Nothing herein shall be deemed to limit the power of the Police Department to conduct a search of any premises at any time when they have probable cause to believe that a violation of this section has been committed.
It shall be a violation of this article for any person to use water from the Merchantville-Pennsauken Water Commission water system at any time during the water emergency in a manner prohibited by any declaration issued pursuant to this article.
In the event that there is on any premises a continuing usage of water from the Merchantville-Pennsauken Water Commission water system by any person in a manner prohibited by any declaration issued pursuant to this article, such continuing usage is hereby declared to be a health hazard. The owner, occupant and/or operator of the premises whereon the violation is occurring shall be served with written notice of the violation by the delivery to any such owner, occupant and/or operator or the agent or employee of any of the same actually on the premises. If no such person is present, the notice shall be posted on the premises. If, after the passage of one hour from the delivery or posting of such notice, the health hazard has not been abated, any employee of the municipality or the Merchantville-Pennsauken Water Commission is hereby authorized to enter upon the premises to abate the health hazard. Thereafter, the municipality or Commission, as the case may be, shall assess the costs of such abatement against the owner, operator and/or occupant of the premises.
Any person found guilty of violating § 308-10 shall be subject to a fine of $500 for each twenty-four-hour period or part thereof for which it can be proven that the violation occurred.
Any person found guilty of renewing a continuing violation after it has been abated shall be subject to up to 90 days' imprisonment.
No person shall be fined for any violation of any declaration issued pursuant to this section if such violation occurs less than 48 hours after passage of the declaration.
It shall be a complete defense to any charge of violating this article if it can be shown that the defendant could not reasonably have known that the violation was occurring because it was due to a latent defect in plumbing or other water conduit.