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Residents, Businesses In 5 NJ Counties Asked To Reduce Water Use

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Officials in New Jersey want residents and businesses in five counties to limit water use.

Crews have been working to repair the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission wastewater treatment system after it was damaged by severe flooding and power outages during Superstorm Sandy.

Officials want to reduce the stress on the storm-damaged sewage treatment system and help limit partially treated effluent flowing into Newark and New York Harbor.

Gov. Chris Christie issued an executive order asking 1.4 million customers in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Passaic and Union counties to conserve water to prevent a water shortage in those areas.

"We need to make sure our communities have access to clean water so that people can return to their homes and a sense of normalcy," Christie said in a statement. "The most important thing we can do right now for everyone is conserving water, while we restore power at our supply facilities and secure the supplies and availability of clean water to everyone who needs it."

LINK: Read The Full Executive Order

"We are asking residents and businesses served by the PVSC to heed the governor's executive order for mandatory water use restrictions and to be even more diligent in conserving water to help us reduce the flow of effluents into the harbor and limit environmental impacts until we get this plant fully operational," said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin in a statement.

The wastewater is receiving basic primary treatment and disinfection through chlorination and a sediment settling process. From there, it goes into New York Harbor.

See the full list of water use restrictions, prohibitions and exemptions below:

  • All indoor water use, including showers, baths and domestic cleaning, must be conducted with minimum amounts of water.
  • Non-essential indoor water use is prohibited.
  • Watering of grass, lawns and landscapes is prohibited except for newly sodded or seeded areas done by professional. landscapers or immediately following a commercial application of fertilizer, pesticide or herbicides; minimum amount of water should be used during these applications.
  • Use of water for washing paved surfaces, such as streets, sidewalks, driveways, garages, parking lots and patios is prohibited.
  • Outdoor use of water for ornamental or aesthetic purposes, including fountains, artificial waterfalls, and reflecting pools is prohibited, except to preserve or support wildlife.
  • Use of water for municipal street sweeping is allowed only with non-potable water and with minimal use necessary.
  • Use of water for power washing of buildings is prohibited except for commercial enterprises engaged in power washing, and with minimum water use.
  • Car and truck washing, except for emergency vehicles, is prohibited.
  • Commercial car washing is allowed but with reduced rinse cycles and use of recycled water for pre-rinsing of vehicles.
  • Cars and trucks at dealerships may only be washed just prior to delivery, with wash time limited to three minutes.
  • Serving of water in restaurants, clubs, or other eating establishments is prohibited unless specifically requested by patrons.

For more information about the water restrictions, click here.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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