To save water in the home:

  • Never use your toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket.
  • Take shorter showers.
  • Install a low-flow toilet
  • Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth or shaving.
  • Place plastic bottles filled with sand and water in your toilet tank.
  • Install water-saving shower heads or flow restrictors.
  • Fix leaky faucets and pipes.
  • While waiting for hot tap water, catch flow in basin and use for watering plants or other use.
  • Insulate hot water pipes to get hot water faster.
  • Keep a bottle of tap water in your refrigerator instead of running the faucet for cold water.
  • Use automatic dishwasher only for full loads; scrape dishes clean, don’t rinse items before placing in dishwasher unless required.
  • Use washing machine only for full loads or else carefully adjust water level.
  • If washing dishes by hand, don’t leave water running.
  • Don’t let water run while washing fruit and veggies; clean them in a basin filled with water.
  • Install faucet aerators.

To save water outside the home:

Reference: USEPA & NJDEP

  • If you do not have an irrigation system, use sprinklers that shoot water out horizontally, not vertically, to avoid loss of water through evaporation.
  • Water lawns and lanscaping only when needed.
  • While washing your car don’t leave the water running or use a commercial car wash which recycles the water.
  • If you have a pool, use a cover when not in use to reduce evaporation. Solar covers will also warm up the water.
  • Water lawns and landscaping only when needed. Two times per week for 30 minutes in the morning or early evening is typically sufficient.
  • Use a watering can or hose with a hand-nozzle to water gardens, flowers and shrubs.
  • Longer grass means less evaporation. Set mowing height to at least three inches. Longer grass blades help retain soil moisture, improve root growth and encourage a healthier lawn.
  • Avoid watering lawns and plants during the heat of the day, since much of this water will evaporate without helping your lawn.
  • Water mist drifts in the wind. Water at calm parts of day.
  • Reduce the size of your lawn by establishing gardens that use native, drought-tolerant vegetation.
  • Apply mulch around shrubs and flower beds to reduce evaporation, promote plant growth and reduce weeds.
  • Use barrels or other containers to capture rainfall for use in watering. Cover the openings with fine screens to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs in the collected water.
  • Use a broom or leaf blower to sweep sidewalks and driveways rather than a hose.
  • Use organic fertilizer which requires less water and promotes root growth, resulting in healthier lawns.
  • Check your irrigation system for clogged, broken or missing sprinkler heads or better yet have a qualified landscaper provide an irrigation audit.
  • If water pools in your landscape or you have large wet areas, you could have a leak in your system. Examine points where the sprinkler heads connect to pipes or hoses.
  • Make sure to direct your sprinklers so that they apply water only to the landscape—not the driveway, house, or sidewalk.
  • Get to know the settings on your irrigation controller and, if you haven't upgraded to a weather-based controller, adjust its watering schedule regularly according to seasonal weather conditions.
  • Schedule each individual zone in your irrigation system to account for the type of sprinkler, sun or shade exposure, and type of plants and soil in the specific area. The same watering schedule rarely applies to all zones in the system.

Water Restrictions

Stage II  (Severe) - Mandatory restriction of irrigation to Tuesdays and Saturdays for properties with odd-numbered addresses and Wednesdays and Sundays for properties with even-numbered addresses.  No irrigation shall be allowed on Mondays, Thursdays, or Fridays except for the use of a hand held hose. Irrigation using a hand held hose shall be allowed at any time. Effective May 2, 2017 Ridgewood Water Customers in the Village of Ridgewood must follow the regulation listed in Ordinance 3588. Click HERE for more details.

Stage III  (Pending/Critical) - Mandatory restriction of irrigation to the use of a hand held hose on Tuesdays and Saturdays for properties with odd-numbered addresses and Wednesdays and Sundays for properties with even-numbered addresses.  No irrigation of any kind shall be allowed on Mondays, Thursdays, or Fridays.

Stage IV  (Critical) - Irrigation is prohibited at any time. Exceptions for irrigation using a hand held hose may be allowed under conditions prescribed by the Village Manager of the Village of Ridgewood.

NJ Drought Status

*4/12/17- Commissioner Martin lifted the drought warning, but cited very important suggestions on how to save water, including:

  • Do not over-water lawns and landscaping. Two times per week for 30 minutes in the morning or late afternoon during drier periods is typically sufficient.
  • Use a hose with a hand-nozzle to water flowers and shrubs.
  • Avoid watering lawns and plants during the heat of the day, since much of this water will evaporate without helping your lawn.
  • See the full press release for details: Commissioner Martin Lifts Drought Warning and Watch Advisories for Most of New Jersey

*1/2/17- NJ utilities look to curb spikes in water use

*10/21/16- Commissioner Martin signs administrative order designating drought warning for 14 counties in Northern, Central and Northern Coastal New Jersey.

*9/15/16- Drought warning considered. Click HERE.

*7/25/16- The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has issued a drought watch for most of northern New Jersey. Click HERE for the press release.