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Weird water restrictions in NJ? (1 Viewer)

Jay H

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Do you realize that it is legal to:

1) top off your pool that's been winterized

2) Fill up a pool once if you get permission from the local municipality

3) Fill your hot tub, spa, jacuzzi, kiddie pool

4) Water garden (with hose which shuts off when let go)

5) Watering of lawns (region dependent) every other day, according to house number and only for 45 minutes..

YET, it's illegal to wash your car, unless at a commercial place which probably recycles their water (uck!)

So I parked on the grass and watered my little MR2 this weekend and polished and waxed it. It's new and hasn't been waxed so I had to. I just did.

But, I can't believe they allow one to fill up a pool or water the garden yet they don't allow one to wash a car??? My parents would use way more water to water the garden then it would for me to wash my car. 2 gals for the bucket with soap, a quick rinse in the beginning and a rinse at the end. We don't water our lawn, drought or no drought but the gardens we have are usually watered although we haven't been this year. So I look at it this way, if I park my car on the lawn, I'm simply watering the lawn, it just happens that my car is on said lawn. Doesn't make any sense to me, maybe the people who did our EZ Pass came up with these restrictions...

Jay
 

Danny R

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Welcome to the wonderful world of politics.

Water restrictions are usually created by people who have nice manicured yards, pools and the like, and send their car out to be washed.

Not that there is anything wrong with having those things... But most "water restrictions" main purpose is to make people feel guilty about using their water and to try and cut down. Its hoped that if enough people do this, it will offset the shortage enough so that they don't have to inconvenience pool owners and other campaign contributors.

Few of the laws I've seen would seem to have a "real" impact on water usage.
 

AjayM

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Well, there is some sense in there, mixed with a little head scratching.

4) Water garden (with hose which shuts off when let go)

5) Watering of lawns (region dependent) every other day, according to house number and only for 45 minutes..
Watering gardens and lawns is there because if you didn't do that those things die off. Which will then bring property values way down, which means a lot of the people living there could lose a bit of money, etc.

And if you look at the rules, there almost always is something about washing your car on certain days for a certain amount of time, etc.

Andrew
 

Todd Hochard

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If more municipalities would wise up and plumb in treated/recycled water for lawn watering, we wouldn't likely have or need such restrictions. It's certainly seems a better solution than pumping that water back into lakes/rivers.

I think more new developments here in Central FL are requiring this.
 

Scooter

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I think the main thing is...it's kinda hard to drag your lawn to the lawn wash to get it watered..where as with a car there is an alternative to using the community supply.

Fortunately..I have a well.
 

Jay H

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I think my main point is not that you can't move your lawn to get it watered is that I would use a lot less water in washing my roadster than it would to water less than a 1/3 acre of lawn or the garden. And I'd only do it once every few weeks or as necessary than every other day as allowed by the state of NJ. And most certainly less water than filling up a freakin' pool!!!!!!! At most, I have the hose actually on for say 10-15 minutes. The soap is using 2 gallons in a bucket and obviously the hose has a sprayer which shuts off when you release it. The only thing the state bans when watering is those automatic water sprinklers but it is no different than if you just stood there for 45 minutes and sprayed the lawn yourself.

Jay
 

AjayM

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But the point still is that all these things you are complaining about are far worse than a dirty car. If your lawn dies it brings down property values for your neighborhood. If you don't properly maintain your pool, that can bring down the property values (not to mention huge repair bills when the frost/freeze tear the walls apart). And again, once you fill the pool you don't have to do it again, it's filled. All of the above situation can have serious financial downsides. And all of the above are regulated as well (lawn watering at certain times for a certain amount of time, etc)
What is the downside of having a dirty car? Which doesn't even have to be dirty because you can go to any car wash and have it cleaned.
Imagine if everybody thought like you do now, imagine 10's-100's of thousands (maybe millions) of people who are using the city water who decide to say "screw-it" and wash their cars, they each use what maybe 10 gallons of water to wash the car.....and then do it once a week or maybe every other week.
What would you say when you turned on the water in the morning to take a shower and none came out? But at least you'd have a clean car! :)
Andrew
 

Jay H

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Imagine if everybody thought like you do now, imagine 10's-100's of thousands (maybe millions) of
people who are using the city water who decide to say "screw-it" and wash their cars, they each use
what maybe 10 gallons of water to wash the car.....and then do it once a week or maybe every other
week.
People are already allowed to water their lawn every other day! One can always get grass that doesn't need to be watered.. like ours!! We've had that weird prickly Soisee (I know I spelled that wrong) grass which we never water. Hell, you could fill it up with crushed stone. A pool certainly doesn't need water, a pool is a luxury, much more so than a car is (Although for me who bikes to work most of the time, it technically is a luxury for me). If they are allowed to water their lawn every other day for "property value", then I should be allowed to wash my car every other WEEK cause it too is property and it too can depreciate. Plus, if you're not selling your house any time soon, how will a decreased property value affect you any time soon.
Plus, my car is a convertible, I would not trust it in a car wash nor do I want the convertible top pelting with high pressure water jets. Plus I want to wax and polish it too, so I can't exactly drive to a car wash and then come home and wax it cause at that point, I'd have to wash it again to get the road grime off. I could use one of those DIY car washes but then the same point is that I would still have to wax and polish it. The fact is, I'd use less water than watering the lawn/garden and I'd do it hardly the frequency of most lawns that get watered. Of course, like I mentioned before, I have no pool and do not water the lawn. The garden gets sprinkled by a bucket and I am already conserving water around the house.... Flush less (If's it's yellow, let it mellow ;) ) etc.
Like I said, I can always move it to the lawn and say I'm watering the lawn :)
Jay
 

Todd Hochard

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Imagine if everybody thought like you do now, imagine 10's-100's of thousands (maybe millions) of people who are using the city water who decide to say "screw-it" and wash their cars, they each use what maybe 10 gallons of water to wash the car.....and then do it once a week or maybe every other week.
A drop in the bucket (excuse the pun). More water gets flushed down each toilet in the average home, every day.
Water Tidbits:
1. At 2.5gpm, the average 10 minute shower uses 25gal. People whine about these conserving heads, though, and drill out the flow limiter.
2. Toilets since '94 flush only 1.6gal. People whine about these, too. Prior to that, it was 3.5 gal. Models from the pre-80's flush 5 gallons.
3. Wells don't solve the water shortage issue. Many municipal sources are derived from wells, and private wells limit the amount of water filtering back down to the water table.
4. Your basic 5/8" garden hose will push about 4 gpm @ 60psi. Washing the car will likely take 20-30 gallons.
5. Your typical top-loading clothes washers use about 40 gal per wash. Front loaders use considerably less, with the largest (Maytag Neptune) using 26 gal/wash when packed completely full (3.0cu ft of wash- BIG!). (Yes, I've checked this). Partial loads take less.
6. Irrigation systems are, by far, the most consuming items out there. My tiny yard, with a total of 3000 sq ft (about 1/12 acre), uses about 900 gallons to lay down 1/2" (rain equivalent) of water. This is about 20 minutes per zone. I do this, reluctantly, twice a week (actually, right now, three times, due to some near-death patches in the lawn), else the grass would die- quickly.
7. A pool will lose about 1" per week during the dry season here in FL. For a 16x32 pool, that translates to 340gal/week, or so.
I agree with Jay- car washing is not the source of, nor the solution to, our water problems. What of all the cars that end up getting more frequently painted, due to the lack of upkeep? Surely, you can't argue that it's smarter to use all the solvents, and generate the toxic waste, associated with painting a car. Comparitively, washing your car is completely benign, IMO.
A car cover goes a long way to keeping the car clean for longer periods. My garaged vehicles only need washing about once a month, sometimes less than that.
There are lots of things we could do to minimize the use of well/reservoir water, but are currently deemed too expensive, or too "geeky/green."
1. Rainwater collection (from your roof) in cisterns, and use this to water your garden, flush your toilets, even wash your clothes.
2. Use flow-limiting, aerated faucets everywhere in your home.
3. Low-flow toilets in older homes.
4. Ask your municipality what they are doing with treated wastewater. If they are dumping it back into lakes and rivers, that could be recycled for use in gray water systems.
Conservation isn't the complete and total answer to our chronic water shortages, but it would help quite a bit. Unfortunately, this common sense approach is met with big resistance everywhere.
To sum it up, preventing car washes once/week, while allowing lawn watering every two days, is like trying to improve CAFE by mandating that everyone buy Expeditions and Excursions, and require low-rolling resistance tires.:rolleyes
Todd
 

AjayM

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The fact is, I'd use less water than watering the lawn/garden and I'd do it hardly the frequency of most lawns that get watered. Of course, like I mentioned before, I have no pool and do not water the lawn. The garden gets sprinkled by a bucket and I am already conserving water around the house.... Flush less (If's it's yellow, let it mellow ) etc.
Unfortunatly the town/city has to plan water conservation as a whole. While you may conserv water, and may not have a yard and a pool, and you may only want to wash your car once a month, they have to plan for the family of 5 that likes to take showers 3 times a day, has 2-acres of pristine imported lawn with a huge garden, a jacuzzi in the back yard, and 5 cars in the driveway that they want to have washed 2 times a week.

If you own your own property find out about drilling a well and getting off the city water, then you can do whatever you like.

Andrew
 

Jay H

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To sum it up, preventing car washes once/week, while allowing lawn watering every two days, is like
trying to improve CAFE by mandating that everyone buy Expeditions and Excursions, and require
low-rolling resistance tires.
I think CAFE is already thinking of that idea, just as I type :laugh:
AjayM, fine, you need water in a pool to keep it from crumbling, I don't own a pool so I wouldn't know. But the bottom line is the amount of water one uses to water the lawn/garden is 10xs the amount I would use to water my car, technically, that's what you're doing anyway, the soap is in a bucket. So the semantics that the town plays is quite silly. The town water supply should have instituted water saving measures long time ago, not just because now there seems to be a shortage. But I guess that's a whole different subject.
I'm not selling my car anytime soon, don't care what a car appraiser says, I'm driving it. :) It is a new car and hasn't been waxed yet, so one could argue that for long term driving pleasure, it is imperative that I wash and wax the car now rather than wait for some silly restriction which may not get lifted any time soon. And I purposely say driving pleasure and not "property value" cause honestly, I'm not concerned about property value, since if I enjoy driving it, I figure, property value will just be a side effect.
Maybe the best compromise would be to allow one to wash a car once a month, just as they allow one to water a lawn every other day. Now if I can find out what the golf courses are getting their water from, I hope all of them use graywater cause I go by some real nicely greened greens all the time...
Jay
 

Todd Hochard

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they have to plan for the family of 5 that likes to take showers 3 times a day, has 2-acres of pristine imported lawn with a huge garden, a jacuzzi in the back yard, and 5 cars in the driveway that they want to have washed 2 times a week.
Lessee, then...
15 showers at 25 gal each x 7 days = 2625 gals/week
3.5 days watering 2 acres (86000sq ft) 1/2" each watering= 96500 gals/week
5 cars x 2 washings x 40 gals/wash= 400 gals/week
Savings from eliminating car washes- 400 gals.
Savings from mandating twice/week watering- 40000 gals
Your argument is NOT convincing, Ajay. I'm glad Central FL water management agrees with my thinking, and not the "Jersey-style" logic.:rolleyes
Todd
 

Mike Main

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Not many Homes have 2 acres let alone 2 acres of actual lawn. But thats not the point, I see your point where lawn watering is definitely more wasteful.

Mike
 

Ryan Wright

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Imagine if everybody thought like you do now, imagine 10's-100's of thousands (maybe millions) of people who are using the city water who decide to say "screw-it" and wash their cars, they each use what maybe 10 gallons of water to wash the car.....and then do it once a week or maybe every other week.
Uh, they would SAVE water. Do you know how much water car washes use with that high pressure hose running the whole time? I'll give you a hint, it's a heck of a lot more than washing with a bucket and a garden hose.
"But," you say, "The car wash COLLECTS and RECYCLES that water." Well, so does Jay's lawn.
I'm on Jay's side here. The restrictions are stupid. I would wash my car in my front yard whenever I damn well felt like it, and if someone came along and tried to fine me, I'd fight them in court. It's called civil disobedience, and should be practiced by everyone when unjust and stupid laws are passed.
 

MickeS

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I didn't know they had water shortage in NJ.
Here in Tucson the water is always a popular topic, because of the lack of it. Few houses and buildings have lawns at all, so that cuts down on the watering quite a bit. I don't know of any water restrictions here at all actually, the only thing I know is that up to a certain amount of use, the water is free. The idea is to get people to use less water by being cheap and staying under the limit. I don't even know what the limit is, so I think the idea backfires, people just use however much water they need and are happy to get a discount...
It always pisses me off to go up to Phoenix or Scottsdale and see all the houses and buildings there have lawns (I think they want it to look like SoCal :)). They don't have much more water up there than we do here I think.
/Mike
 

AjayM

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Hey, I agree as well....but at least come up with a realistic argument to the whole thing. As some of you have shown, washing a car doesn't use much water. But washing a car is a luxury item, watering the lawns in the neighborhood is not. Making sure your pool is filled up so it doesn't break apart is not a luxury.

If you can't figure out the "whole" picture of why it's ok to waste thousands upon thousands of gallons of water to water a lawn (which either evaporates and turns to rain at some point, or soaks back to the water table), but not hundreds to wash a car then you'll never understand. But we'll make it simple none the less, the politicians who invoke water restrictions won't be politicians very long if the property value's in their area go down because everybodies house has a dead lawn. It's that cut and dry.

I live in S. Florida which has at times water restrictions almost year round. Washing a car is allowed at certain times during those restrictions. So talk to the people in charge and ask for that.

Andrew
 

Jay H

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I didn't know they had water shortage in NJ.
We have a water shortage (in general) in the NE, although recently, the water has been rising as reservoir levels are reaching 79-80% where normal is about 100%. However, it's not the dead of summer yet so that's why we're still in water restrictions. If we could ship some of the rain from the Midwest who seems to get hammered every year, we'd all be happy.
...and I finally looked up our grass, it's "Zoysia grass". :)
In my view, washing the lawn is a luxury to me, and it seems to my immediate neighbors because I haven't seen them watering their lawns restrictions or no restrictions. I'm sure my parents got this grass because it was inexpensive and needed almost no maintenance. I guess it's just a matter of priorities, I don't consider my lawn a big deal, it's there, it gets mowed every week or when necessary, I pick out the weeds and cut the hedges and stuff. I'm never concerned about property value, I'm concerned on whether I enjoy it or not, if one enjoys it, I'm certain that property value will follow. Like when I buy a 53" RPTV, I'm not thinking, oh I'll be able to sell it for only a $500 loss if I keep it clean and calibrate it, I tend to think in terms of my enjoyment, will I get the best picture from it and stuff like that. Same thing with my car, will I enjoy it to it's fullest and I can't when the car is dirty. I'm sure if I ever do become a homeowner, I might feel differently but still, my priorities is with my happiness and not how much money I'd lose if I sold it tomorrow.
Now, lets all go out and do a rain dance, except for the people in the midwest, they should just blow the clouds east a bit. All together now...
Jay
 

Todd Hochard

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If you can't figure out the "whole" picture of why it's ok to waste thousands upon thousands of gallons of water to water a lawn (which either evaporates and turns to rain at some point, or soaks back to the water table), but not hundreds to wash a car then you'll never understand.
Are you being sarcastic? Surely, you can see the folly in your own argument? What you are saying is:
1. Watering your lawn every other day (more than necessary, unless you have a bad habit of over-fertilizing and contributing to lake and river algae blooms) is OK.
2. Parking your car ON YOUR LAWN and washing it isn't OK.
IOW, why use hundreds, when you could use tens-of-thousands?
I certainly don't disagree with you about property values re: lawns, and the importance of pool maintenance. Both are necessary, but not to the extent that New Jersey has described the restrictions above. Watering every other day, over the long term, is a good way to KILL your lawn. They could cut THAT back to a more reasonable level, and allow the occasional car wash, and STILL save lots of reservoir water.
If you can't follow the math laid out above, I don't know what else to try.:frowning:
 

AjayM

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Yes I was being sarcastic, in the sense of why the "laws" are passed the way they are. They mean well, but the end result is that it doesn't really solve any problems.

Andrew
 

Mike_Mig

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Jay H, did you know that it can take up to a year for a clear coat finish to set up on a new car. You really don't want to do any polishing or waxing on a car with a clear coat for at least that long. i don't know if your car has a clear coat or not, but it is something to think about. Some of my friends in the paint department at the plant I work advised me of this when I bought my new car about 3 months ago.

Mike
 

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