Township of Franklin, NJ
Somerset County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Amended 9-9-2014 by Ord. No. 4074-14]
A. 
Water conservation rules during nonemergency periods. Except as may be further restricted in accordance with § 384-49 below, the use of water within the Township of Franklin, regardless of the source of supply (e.g., public water supplies, well or groundwater, lakes, streams or ponds), unless expressly exempt in Subsection B, Exemptions. Such water use shall conform to the following:
(1) 
Lawn watering and irrigation.
(a) 
"Lawn watering" is defined as the watering of land by artificial means to foster plant growth utilizing a hose.
(b) 
"Irrigation" is defined as the watering of land by artificial means to foster plant growth with an installed permanent irrigation system.
(2) 
All citizens shall be urged to observe indoor conservation measures at all times; and
(3) 
Lawn watering with a hose or hose-end sprinkler:
(a) 
Advisory: Residents of single- and two-family homes utilizing public water or on large lots are urged to only water properties two days per week.
(b) 
Mandatory: Residents of single- and two-family homes utilizing wells on lots of less than 40,000 square feet in the R-20, R-15, R-10, R-10A, R-10B, R-7, R-7 SF, R-7 2F, C-R SF, C-R 2F, C-R APT TNH, N-B and OP zones may only water properties two days per week. Properties with even-number addresses may only water on even days of the month, and properties with odd-number addresses may only water on odd days of the month. Homeowners' associations with common areas on both sides of the streets must select either odd or even, but not both.
(c) 
In order to minimize evaporation and to conserve water as much as possible, watering is recommended to be conducted during the cooler parts of the days, ideally before 9:00 a.m. or after 5:00 p.m.
(d) 
The watering of any single area shall not exceed 30 minutes per day.
(e) 
Flowers and shrubs may be watered as needed with a handheld hose equipped with an automatic shutoff nozzle, a drip watering system, which use shall not exceed 15 minutes per watering area, with a hose or a handheld watering can.
(f) 
No hose or hose-end watering shall be permitted when it is raining.
(4) 
Irrigating lawns and landscapes with automatic irrigation systems equipped with a conventional irrigation controller. (This includes all systems that do not have a SMART controller as defined in Subsection A(5).
(a) 
Advisory: Citizens are urged to irrigate two days per week. Properties with even-number addresses should only irrigate on Mondays and Thursdays; properties with odd-number addresses should only irrigate on Tuesdays and Fridays. Homeowners' associations with common areas on both sides of the streets should water on either Monday and Thursday or Tuesday and Friday, but not both.
(b) 
Irrigation shall only be conducted between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 10:00 a.m.
(c) 
Operation of any irrigation zone equipped with spray (mist) heads shall not exceed 15 minutes per zone. Operation of any irrigation zone equipped with rotary sprinkler heads shall not exceed 50 minutes per zone.
(5) 
Irrigation with systems equipped with a SMART controller:
(a) 
To qualify for this provision, the SMART controller must have met the minimum requirements of IA-SWAT protocol testing. Lists of climate-based and sensor-based controllers that have successfully completed the protocol testing can be found at http://www.irrigation.org/SWAT/Industry/ ia-tested.asp.
(b) 
The property owner must register the SMART controller with the municipality.
[1] 
The municipality will issue a yard placard, which the owner must display, signifying that the property is irrigated with a SMART controller.
(c) 
The SMART controller must be programmed by an EPA WaterSense partner who holds a New Jersey Landscape Irrigation Contractor Certificate pursuant to N.J.S.A. 45:5AA-3.
[1] 
The SMART controller must be programmed to irrigate between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 10:00 a.m.;
[2] 
Proper sprinkler head data and accurate soil/plant/irrigation information must be entered;
[3] 
The SMART controller programming data shall be posted at the controller;
[4] 
The WaterSense partner must make a minimum of two site visits after the initial programming to adjust and fine tune the irrigation schedule.
(6) 
Irrigation systems programmed and monitored by an irrigation manager.
(a) 
The property owner must designate a qualified person who will be the irrigation manager and register that person with the municipality with defining qualifications. The designated person may be an employee, a contractor or any other person so designated by the property owner. Registration shall be limited to filing the name, address, telephone contact number and qualifications of the designated person, the property address, including block and lot number.
[1] 
The municipality will issue a yard placard, which the owner must display, signifying that the property is irrigated by an irrigation manager.
(b) 
The irrigation manager must be an EPA WaterSense partner or show evidence of successfully completing one of the approved courses listed below:
[1] 
Rutgers University Continuing Education Course, Irrigation Systems: Scheduling.
[2] 
Irrigation Association's online course, Landscape Irrigation Scheduling.
[3] 
A comparable course offered by a recognized continuing education facility or professional association.
(c) 
A property-specific irrigation program shall be developed by the irrigation manager based on plant variety, soil type, exposure, slope, precipitation rate, and irrigation efficiency.
(d) 
Weekly adjustments shall be made to the irrigation schedule based on current evapotranspiration (ET) rates or weather conditions.
(7) 
All automatic irrigation systems:
(a) 
Shall be equipped with an operational automatic rain sensor device, which disables the system when a predetermined amount of rainfall has occurred (1/4 inch). Each rain sensor device shall be capable of and programmed to interrupt the automatic irrigation cycle when 1/4 inch of rain has fallen.
(b) 
Any work performed on a system as a result of any inspection made by the homeowner or a professional must be in compliance with the Landscape Irrigation Contractor Certification Act of 1991 (N.J.S.A. 45:5AA-3).
(c) 
Flowers and shrubs irrigated with drip or micro irrigation may be watered as needed.
(8) 
All new irrigation systems must comply with the following:
(a) 
The system must be installed by an EPA WaterSense partner who holds a New Jersey Landscape Irrigation Contractor Certificate pursuant to N.J.S.A. 45:5AA-3.
(b) 
New Jersey irrigation best management design practices are listed below. More information on these practices can be found in the Landscaping For Water Conservation Guide located on the Franklin Township website.
[1] 
Designing a system that insures sufficient operating pressure at the sprinkler head;
[2] 
Dividing irrigated areas into hydrozones of turf and plants with similar water requirements;
[3] 
Creating zoning systems according to exposure;
[4] 
Considering the soil type so the sprinkler irrigation precipitation rate is compatible with the soil infiltration rate or dividing the zone runtimes into multiple short cycles;
[5] 
Providing separate control of sloped areas;
[6] 
Preventing sprinkler heads from overthrowing onto driveways, roads, and sidewalks;
[7] 
Providing for separate irrigation for parkway strips between curbs and sidewalks that minimizes overthrow onto walks, pavement, and other impervious surfaces;
[8] 
Using pressure-regulating technology as necessary to ensure sprinkler heads operate within the manufacturer's recommended range. The pressure regulation may be:
[a] 
A pressure regulation device at the point of connection;
[b] 
Pressure regulation at each remote control valve;
[c] 
Pressure regulation at the sprinkler head;
[d] 
A combination of the above.
[9] 
Irrigating all flowers and shrubs with drip and/or micro irrigation;
[10] 
Including check valves in low sprinkler heads to prevent low-point drainage;
[11] 
Having a pressure regulating device and wye strainer on each drip/micro control valve.
(c) 
The system must have a SMART controller capable of estimating or measuring depletion of available plant soil moisture and operating the irrigation system only to replenish the water as needed while minimizing excess water use.
[1] 
The SMART controller must have undergone SWAT testing and be listed on the EPA WaterSense website. http://www.epa.gov/ watersense/product search.html, http://www.swatirrigation.org. (Choose Irrigation controllers.)
[2] 
The SMART controller must be programmed by an EPA WaterSense partner who holds a New Jersey Landscape Irrigation Contractor Certificate pursuant to N.J.S.A. 45:5AA-3.
[a] 
Proper sprinkler head data and accurate soil/plant/irrigation information must be entered;
[b] 
The SMART controller programming data shall be posted at the controller;
[c] 
The WaterSense partner must make a minimum of two site visits after the initial programming to adjust and fine tune the irrigation schedule.
(9) 
Washing of vehicles, decks, and driveways.
(a) 
Vehicles, decks, and driveways may be washed on any day, but only with a power washer or handheld hose equipped with an automatic shutoff device.
(b) 
If runoff water drains to a storm sewer or stream, only biodegradable, phosphate-free detergents (or none) may be used.
(10) 
Violators are subject to fines as described in § 384-50 of this article.
(11) 
Upon the declaration of water emergency by the Franklin Township Council, additional restrictions identified in § 384-49 shall supersede the restrictions in this section.
(12) 
State of New Jersey requirements shall supersede those identified in this section when more stringent than those identified in this article.
B. 
Exemptions. Restrictions in Subsection A above do not apply to the following:
(1) 
Outdoor water use from rainwater harvesting, gray water, or reclaimed water are exempt from the provisions of this article. Use of gray or reclaimed water must have an approved NJPDES permit issued through the NJDEP.
(2) 
Outdoor water use for commercial farms producing harvestable crops, commercial nurseries, sod farms and golf courses are exempt from the provisions of this article.
(3) 
Outdoor irrigation necessary for one day only where treatment with an application of chemicals requires immediate watering to preserve an existing landscape or to establish a new landscape.
(4) 
Outdoor irrigation necessary for the establishment of newly sodded or seeded lawns or landscaping within the first 21 consecutive days after planting.
(5) 
Visually supervised operation of an irrigation system by a person in compliance with the New Jersey Landscape Irrigation Contractor Certification Act of 1991 (N.J.S.A. 45:5AA-1) and at the minimum rate necessary in order to check system condition and effectiveness.
(6) 
Outdoor water use for harvestable crops that will be consumed on site or grown in community gardens are exempt from the provisions of this article. However, gardeners are advised to water before 9:00 a.m. or after 6:00 p.m. if possible.
A. 
Declaration of water emergency. A water emergency shall be declared:
(1) 
Upon action by resolution of the governing body.
(a) 
Whenever the Township Engineer in his or her professional judgment finds that emergency conditions exist within the Township, he or she shall recommend to the Township Council that a water emergency be declared. An interim water emergency may be proclaimed by the Township Manager until the next regular or special meeting of the Township Council. Said recommendation shall contain findings which specify which water use restrictions, if any, contained in Subsection B below are appropriate. Factors which the Township Engineer may consider in making said recommendation include, but are not limited to, the following:
[1] 
Lack of precipitation for an extended time period;
[2] 
Below-average water levels in Township streams or other surface water bodies;
[3] 
Declaration of a water emergency by the Governor;
[4] 
A finding by New Jersey American Water, or its successor in supplying the Township water system, that a water shortage exists;
[5] 
Declaration of a water emergency by a neighboring municipality or municipalities;
[6] 
Designation by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection of a drought watch or drought warning condition;
[7] 
Below-average water levels in wells monitored by the United States Geological Survey or other wells monitored by agencies of the United States;
[8] 
Evidence of low or dirty water yields in private wells in the Township;
[9] 
Declaration of a water emergency resulting from infrastructure failure or any other safe drinking water emergency issues.
(b) 
Upon receiving such a recommendation, the Township Council may accept the Township Engineer's recommendation and findings, or any portion thereof, and adopt a resolution declaring a water emergency in the Township.
(c) 
Such resolution shall be adopted by the Township Council at any regular, special, adjourned or emergency public meeting of the Township Council. Such resolution shall specify which of the water use restrictions, if any, contained in Subsection B below are being imposed. Such resolution shall be effective immediately upon publication and shall continue in effect for 90 days, or such lesser time period as may be specified, unless extended or repealed as stated in Subsections C and D below.
B. 
Water use restrictions during emergency. Upon adoption by the Township Council of a resolution declaring that a water emergency exists in the Township in accordance with Subsection A of this section:
(1) 
All citizens shall be urged to observe voluntary indoor conservation measures; and
(2) 
Water uses and restrictions including but not limited to the below may be included in a Water Emergency Resolution:
(a) 
The watering of all plant growth, except commercial crop and sod farms, nursery stock at nurseries or retail outlets, and golf courses;
(b) 
The washing of vehicles, except for emergency vehicles or by a commercial enterprise whose primary function is car washing and which recycles the water used, regardless of whether the operation is mobile or stationary, or in those instances where a threat to public health may exist;
(c) 
The washing of streets, driveways, sidewalks, decks, patios or paved areas;
(d) 
The serving of tap water in restaurants, clubs, or eating places unless specifically requested by patrons;
(e) 
The use of fire hydrants by fire companies for testing fire apparatus and for fire department drills, except as the Township Fire Prevention Director deems necessary in the interest of public safety;
(f) 
The use of fire hydrants by municipal road departments, contractors, and all others, except as necessary for firefighting or protection purposes;
(g) 
The filling of swimming, wading, and ornamental pools, and all outdoor recreational uses which expend water;
(h) 
The washing of the outsides of dwellings, buildings, or other structures, except windows;
(i) 
The operation of any ornamental fountain or other structure making a similar use of water except as necessary to preserve or support fish and aquatic life;
(j) 
The washing of streets via a street sweeper, except in those instances where Reclaimed Water for Beneficial Reuse (RWBR) is authorized under a valid New Jersey Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NJPDES) permit;
(k) 
Any other water use activity specified by the Township Council in the resolution required by Subsection A(1) of this section which is reasonable under the circumstances considering the nature and extent of the water emergency.
(l) 
Exempted from these restrictions is the use of water previously collected as rainwater and stored in a covered vessel.
(3) 
The following restrictions may be imposed on the water uses stated in Subsection B(2) of this section:
(a) 
All outdoor usage which is not strictly prohibited by this subsection is limited to the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. or between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.;
(b) 
The watering of any single area shall not exceed 30 minutes per day; and
(c) 
Any other restriction specified by the Township Council which is reasonable under the circumstances considering the nature and extent of the water emergency.
(4) 
Any water use restriction imposed pursuant to this subsection may be amended by the Township Council to add, alter, or delete any restriction in this subsection at any time during the water emergency. Said amendment shall be by resolution of the Township Council.
(5) 
Any water use restriction imposed pursuant to this subsection shall apply equally to both users of privately owned wells and users served by a public utility.
(6) 
Nothing in this subsection shall be read so as to prohibit, restrict or limit water usage where a bona fide health emergency exists.
C. 
Duration of water emergency. Whenever the Township Engineer in his or her professional judgment finds that the emergency drought conditions in the Township have abated prior to the expiration of the time period specified in the resolution, he or she shall recommend to the Township Council that the water emergency cease. Upon such a recommendation to cease, the Township Council may adopt a resolution declaring the water emergency ended and the water use restrictions identified in Subsection B inapplicable. In the interim, the water emergency may be ended by the Township Manager until the next regular or special meeting of the Township Council. Otherwise, at the end of the time period specified in the original resolution, the water use restrictions identified in Subsection B shall lapse and be inapplicable and unenforceable.
D. 
Extension of water emergency time period. If at the expiration of the time period specified in the resolution, the Township Engineer in his or her professional judgment finds that the emergency drought conditions have not abated, he or she shall recommend to the Township Council that the water emergency remain in effect. Said recommendation shall specify the duration of the extension. Whenever the Township Council has received such a recommendation, it may accept the Township Engineer's recommendation and findings, or any portion thereof, and adopt a resolution to extend the water emergency. Said resolution shall specify the duration of the extension, which shall not be for more than 90 days.
E. 
Notice. Reasonable attempts shall be made to notify citizens and residents of the Township of the existence of a water emergency, the restrictions imposed, and the penalties for violations.
A. 
Enforcement of water conservation rules and water use restrictions. The water use restrictions and automatic rain sensor requirement imposed pursuant to this article shall be enforced by the local authorized official or his/her designee. Whenever the official designated by the Township Manager to enforce this article shall find a violation of the water use restrictions regardless of the source of the water (public or private supply), such authorized official shall issue a written warning and explain the penalties for a second and third offense as provided in Subsection B below. The local authorized official shall keep such records as may be reasonable and necessary for the purpose of determining the persons and businesses who have been warned upon a first offense. The local authorized official is hereby empowered to write summons for the violation of the water use restrictions imposed pursuant to this section.
B. 
Penalties. After a warning for a first offense in accordance with Subsection A of this section, any person or business that thereafter violates the water use restrictions imposed pursuant to this article shall be subject to the penalty provisions as listed:
(1) 
During nonemergency periods:
(a) 
Second offense: $50.
(b) 
Third offense: $100.
(c) 
Fourth offense: $250.
(d) 
For each offense in the same calendar year subsequent to the fourth, the maximum fine shall be doubled.
(2) 
During water emergencies: The above fines for nonemergency periods shall be tripled.
(a) 
Second offense: $150.
(b) 
Third offense: $300.
(c) 
Fourth offense: $750.
(d) 
For each offense in the same calendar year subsequent to the fourth, the maximum fine shall be doubled.