[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Washington 10-26-1994 by Ord. No. 26-1995 as Sec. 14-4 of the 1994 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Findings. The Council finds that:
Protracted periods of high temperatures and limited rainfall may cause excessive demands upon the water system of the Washington Township Municipal Utilities Authority.
A temporary lack of sufficient water capacity may result in lowering of the normal water levels of the sources of water supply to such Authority.
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 uses 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 serving the residents of the Township.
Purpose. In the interest of the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the Township, 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 fire-fighting purposes.
In case of an emergency where the available supply of water becomes dangerously low, the Municipal Utilities Authority is hereby authorized to declare, by resolution, the existence of a water emergency. The resolution, hereinafter referred to as the "declaration," adopted by the Authority 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 § 269-3.
Extent of restrictions. The declaration of emergency shall specify whether the emergency is one requiring full curtailment or partial curtailment of nonessential water usage, defined as follows:
Full curtailment of nonessential water usage. An absolute prohibition of the use of water from the Authority system for the sprinkling of lawns, filling of swimming pools, car washing and other related uses until the emergency shall be terminated by declaration.
Partial curtailment of nonessential water usage. The prohibition of the use of water from the authority 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.
Modification of restrictions. In the case of any such emergency declaration as is described herein, the terms of the curtailment may be modified by amendment from time to time based on any change in emergent conditions.
Immediately following the passage of any of the emergency declarations hereinbefore described, a copy of the declaration shall be published in official Township newspapers circulated in the Township and posted throughout the Township in the Municipal Building, police headquarters and the offices of the Municipal Utilities Authority.
The declaration of an 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 Township Clerk and the publication thereof in the official Township newspaper.
The restrictions imposed shall terminate 120 days from the effective date of the declaration of emergency, unless sooner terminated by the terms of the declaration or by further resolution of the Municipal Utilities Authority.
During the water emergency, all premises receiving water from the Authority system shall be subject to inspection between sunrise and sunset by the Authority's employees or any other person duly authorized and appointed by the Township or Authority to perform inspections to oversee compliance during the water emergency. It shall be a violation of this chapter for any person to hinder, obstruct, delay, resist or prevent any such inspection as is described herein.
It shall be a violation of this chapter for any person to use water from the Municipal Utilities Authority water system at any time during the water emergency in a manner prohibited by any declaration issued pursuant to this chapter.
In the event that there is on any premises a continuing usage of water from the Authority water system by any person in a manner prohibited by any declaration issued pursuant to this chapter, 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 of such to any such owner, occupant and/or operator or the agent or employee of any of 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 Township or the Authority is hereby authorized to enter upon the premises to abate the health hazard. Thereafter, the Township or Authority, 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 § 269-9 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 chapter 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 chapter if it can be shown that the defendant could not reasonably have known the violation was occurring because it was due to a latent defect in plumbing or other water conduits.