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NJ DEP Warns Of Possible Water Shortages [AUDIO]

FULL COVERAGE: NJ Assesses Sandy Damage

With power still out in many parts of Jersey, the State Department of Environmental Protection is urging all Garden state residents to conserve water and make sure they have an ample supply of drinking water.

Michael Bocchieri, Getty Images

DEP spokesman Larry Ragonese says everybody is being asked to “ease up on their use of water – even in places where it looks like you’re doing fine because there are still issues for many water companies across the state about powering their systems. Many of the systems are on back-up generators, back up fuel systems – they do not have power and as they wait to get restoration the fuel sources get a little lower, the back-up battery packs start to decline a little bit and we could get to a situation where there could be some water supply issues.”

He says, “What we’re trying to do while we get power restored and while the whole fuel situation on the east coast gets back to normal is, we’re asking people across the state to please reduce your use of water like you might do during say a drought situation in the summer so that we don’t stress the system.”

So what does that mean?

Ragonese says, “If you’re taking a shower, please don’t take a 30 minute hot shower- make it a couple of minutes, limit your flushing of toilets. If you’re using the dishwasher or washing machine for clothes, make sure you do limited washes and fill them up…Don’t use water for non-essential things.”

He adds, “If your water supplier runs out of power, the back-up systems don’t work or fail for a the short term – you want to have stuff available – you want to have- make sure you have bottled water, you want to have maybe your bathtub filled up with water – just be sure you have supplies you can use for drinking…Limit your water use if you can – it will help us out a lot.”

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