Now that warmer weather is here, many of us throughout Randolph will be focusing on maintaining our lawns and landscaping. Some residents have asked why the township imposes odd/even lawn watering restrictions that are in effect May 1 through September 30. These restrictions limit lawn watering based on home addresses. (Odd numbered street addresses are permitted to water lawns on odd days of the month; even numbered street addresses are permitted to water lawns on even days of the month).
To explain the watering restrictions, it’s first helpful to understand how Randolph Township obtains and manages our water.
Randolph purchases water through the Morris County Municipal Utilities Administration (MUA). Our contractual arrangement with the Morris County MUA is currently 87 million gallons per month (MGM) which Randolph distributes to our 5733 water customers. Not all Randolph residents are water customers. Some residents have private wells and some residences and businesses north of Route 10 are water customers of Dover.
Randolph’s water system includes 145 miles of water mains, more than 1100 hydrants, and a water tower. This water system is maintained by the Randolph Township DPW, which works diligently to ensure that safe drinking water is provided to customers. All water operations are fully funded by user fees paid by Randolph’s water customers who are billed quarterly for actual water consumption based on meter readings.
Water is clearly an important resource and the Township maximizes conservation efforts for Township water mains through an aggressive leak detection program. Randolph is proud that water loss across the system is less than 5% and remains at levels far below established standards.
As the Township looks to expand water service into homes currently utilizing private wells or to new Randolph businesses or new residential developments, we must have adequate water supply. Although Randolph currently has a contractual arrangement with the Morris County MUA for 87 MGM, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) compares this contractual amount with our peak demand when evaluating our ability to meet demands associated with future expansion of the water system. The peak demand is based on our highest single monthly usage rate over the previous 5 years.
In the summer months, Randolph experiences extremely high levels of water consumption, much of which can be attributed to the watering of lawns. This high consumption can lead to a higher peak demand and limit our ability to supply water to new residences and businesses in Randolph.
Last summer as state-wide drought conditions continued, the Randolph Town Council imposed a complete ban on lawn watering. The effects of the ban were significant. Randolph’s water usage dropped from 63 million gallons in July to 48 million gallons in August when the ban went into effect – a drop of almost 24% and a savings of 15 million gallons in one month.
These types of lawn watering restrictions are very effective in helping Randolph Township meet its obligations to supply water to current and future customers. As the summer months unfold, the Township will monitor the weather conditions, the regional water supply status and water consumption to evaluate whether additional measures are needed.
If you have questions or want more information, please contact me at 973-985-2623 or the Randolph Township Engineering Department at (973) 989-7066 or see the Township Website for more information.