.

DEP Advises Statewide Water Conservation

Many utilities running on generators.

New Jersey residents aren’t the only ones on generator power — many public and private water utilities are too, according to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

The DEP is advising residents statewide to conserve water in the wake of Hurricane Sandy because widespread power outages have forced utilities onto emergency generators to treat and pump water.

"Everyone must pitch in immediately and take steps to reduce water consumption. Without conservation now, homes and businesses could find themselves without water in the near future if backup generation fails. We need full and immediate cooperation," said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin in a press release issued by the governor’s office.

The DEP is currently assessing the extent to which water utilities are currently using backup power; however, it currently appears that most of the major water utilities in the state are currently using some degree of backup generation, according to the press release.

New Jersey American Water Co., the state’s largest private water company, has issued a statement urging all of its customers statewide to conserve water indefinitely as many of the company’s facilities are operating on emergency generators.

The DEP advises residents to adhere to the following:

-Do not use water for any nonessential uses, such as watering of lawns and washing of cars.

- Take showers instead of baths. Keep showers as short as possible.

- Limit flushing of toilets, dishwashing and washing clothes.

- Turn off the faucet when shaving and brushing teeth.

- For those who have electrical service, run dishwashers and laundry washing machines only when they are full. If you have a water-saver cycle, use it.

- Check your toilet, faucets, and pipes for leaks and make repairs or shut off water valves to any faucets or toilets that are leaking.

- Use a broom or rake to clean up storm debris, including leaves or pine needles, rather than a hose.

- Keep a supply of drinking water on hand sufficient to last several days.

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