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Monday, May 27, 2024

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Avalon Makes New Irrigation Rules Effective Immediately

Avalon Makes New Irrigation Rules Effective Immediately

By Vince Conti

Avalon Logo - USE THIS ONE

AVALON – The Borough Council has approved a resolution declaring a water emergency in order to make a newly adopted ordinance on irrigation effective immediately.

The borough took the step not to speed up enforcement of the ordinance, but rather to inform property owners of the new regulations in time for landscapers to adjust. This next month is one in which many landscape companies will be setting times and getting irrigation programs ready for the summer. Without this step the ordinance would not take effect for 20 days after adoption.

The major change in the new ordinance is the move of borough properties to an odd/even system for irrigation. Properties will be allowed to irrigate for 30 minutes a day from midnight to 9 a.m. on either an odd or even day, depending on the property address.

When the ordinance was first introduced a month ago, the borough had already taken the position that no one would get a fine or summons for violating the ordinance this first year; Avalon will use the year to educate property owners and seek voluntary compliance. Enforcement for those who violate the new ordinance will become a priority after the first year.

The need for the ordinance became apparent when the borough found all five of its wells in operation during the summer irrigation period last year. Avalon strives to meet the water needs of the community with four of its five wells, reserving one for public safety emergencies or in case there is an interruption of supply from one of the active wells.

After analysis, the culprit for the heavy water use last summer appeared to be overuse of irrigation, thereby prompting the new ordinance. The previous ordinance, adopted in 2012, was never effectively enforced by the borough. The difference now is that 2023 saw the borough’s water usage hit 87.2% of the annual state water allocation.

The borough is set to launch a social media campaign about the new ordinance soon, as it seeks as much voluntary compliance as possible this year.

Contact the author, Vince Conti, at vconti@cmcherald.com.

Reporter

Vince Conti is a reporter for the Cape May County Herald.

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