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Ridgewood School District Violates Water Restrictions

Sprinklers seen shooting water on Glen School's field on Saturday – and other days, a resident claims – despite restrictions forbidding such use.

Although a reported  seems to indicate that residents have — by and large — abided by restrictions on lawn irrigation, the  hasn't been quite as responsible.

Salem Lane resident Frank Mason told the Ridgewood Village Council – which serves as Ridgewood Water's board of directors – that for the past week, he's observed the sprinklers on at The Glen School's playing field when they're not supposed to be.

stipulate that no watering is allowed to take place on Mondays and use of sprinklers is to follow an odd-even schedule, based on one's property number. The Glen School is located at 865 E. Glen Ave. and can irrigate with sprinklers on odd days.

"I got up Wednesday morning and at Glen Field all the sprinkler systems were working so I called up [the water department] and said, 'Isn't this a violation?'" Mason told the council. "They said we've talked to the board of ed and I'm sure it will be taken care of. Of course, I get up Thursday and it's the same thing."

According to Mason, it wasn't taken care of. The sprinklers were on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as well, he said. The long-time resident claimed Ridgewood Water Director Frank Moritz did not make himself available to discuss the alleged violations.

Superintendent of Schools Daniel Fishbein confirmed the Glen School had improperly been watered, but said it only occurred on Saturday.

"I have personally informed our facilities people of the restrictions upon receiving the notice of the Saturday watering," he said.

Fishbein said he was not aware of other violations at other district properties.

Ridgewood Water officials did not respond to requests for comment Thursday. Village Manager Ken Gabbert also did not respond to questions posed by Patch.

Gabbert informed the council Wednesday night that , a 21 percent increase in about a week. Water restrictions remain in effect.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor James Kleimann at James.Kleimann@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox every morning, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Boyd A. Loving July 20, 2012 at 10:40 AM
If pressed, couldn't the school district claim that they are exempt from the restrictions? Would like to hear our Village Attorney's comment on the issue.
jp1 July 20, 2012 at 12:07 PM
This is not the first time they have done this, i have reported them in the past maybe they should just turn them off for the summer.
AvgCitizen July 20, 2012 at 12:17 PM
Also, Did anyone else see Valley Hospital Watering last Monday too? They are trying hard to win approval for "renewal" Violating the Water restrictions certainly does not make me want to support them. If The water company truly wants to enforce the ban they need to patol the streets at 5AM when many automated sprinklers are on. I say give one warning, keep a record of it, then ticket repeat offenders. Village council talks about "putting teeth" into existing regulations. How about just stepped up enforcement of the ones we have?? Every day since the restrictions went into effect I have seen violations.
Joe July 20, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Turn them off so the grass dies and then we can pay for re-seeding, feeding, watering, etc., not to mention unsafe conditions for children come the Fall? I don't think that's such a good idea, jp1.
AvgCitizen July 20, 2012 at 12:29 PM
PS At this point turning off school fields (or town fields) for the summer is not advised. Many fields are still in active use by village youth plus the various day care camps. Allowing the grass to die off, and fields to get hard as rocks makes no sense unless the water shortage becomes critical. Just set the timers properly.
jp1 July 20, 2012 at 01:09 PM
All this depends on where your priorities lie green grass or putting out a fire.
News Man July 20, 2012 at 02:18 PM
The "Vigilante Committees" of the day can relax, we can expect rain for a couple days now they say. No need to even go to Graydon Pool/Pond/Lake today to cool off.
Marcia Ringel July 20, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Sprinkler systems are typically turned on in the spring and off in the fall. I'll bet many offenders simply have no idea how to adjust them when watering restrictions are changed in midsummer. My neighbors' sprinkler was on ALL NIGHT and possibly all day (I'd been out) recently...not sure what that means...and yes, it was a Monday.
JAFO July 20, 2012 at 03:30 PM
Easy there News Man. Just because it's raining doesn't mean the sprinklers will turn off. They are on timers (without sensors) and will still run even when it's raining. I wrote a letter about this to the editor of the Ridgewood News about 10 years ago and I still see it happening... We're in Stage 2 restrictions, it's raining for two days straight, and the school sprinklers are still running.
Elizabeth Cox July 20, 2012 at 06:50 PM
why would RWD care anyway if they violate the restrictions somehow- the RWD council is the RWD water board of directors- i'm sure they will just jack up GR & MP's water rates to compansate- oh wait they did that already & this after they found to be squandering money from both towns to pay their bills! -
John Dustin July 20, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Ridgewood school district- shame on you. You're all pathetic and think you're above the law. So does Fishbein. Truth is you're all the scum of the town and don't deserve any of your positions, you greedy individuals
Gabe A July 20, 2012 at 07:40 PM
John, don't you think that's a little harsh? It's just water and clearly the people who live in this town should be entitled to water their lawns and wash their cars whenever they would like.
John Dustin July 20, 2012 at 07:45 PM
To hell with this town. It's pathetic
Concerned resident of wood July 20, 2012 at 07:48 PM
I agree with John, this is simply proposterous. Why should the schools be able to water their lawn EVERYDAY when half of them aren't even being used. This sickens me, but I am not surprised. Being a citizen of Ridgewood for almost 20 years i wouldn't put it Past anyone that they knew what they were doing and simply chose to ignore it. They have maintenance staff at all the schools who know how to adjust the system. Shame on you Ridgewood. Thanks James for the superb article
Concerned resident of wood July 20, 2012 at 07:52 PM
In regards to Gabe, I agree. It's not fair that my son Johnny can't wash his s2000 the day before his big race wars day, yet the lawn at the pre school can be kept fresh and clean.
Lawrence July 20, 2012 at 07:52 PM
My sprinkler system, when installed about 6 years ago, was programmed with the odd/even/no monday schedule as its regular program. I also have a rain sensor that shuts the system down when adequate rainfall has been sensed. I believe almost all of my neighbors have their systems programmed similarly. The answer is for every home owner with an irrigation system is to call their service provider and have it programmed correctly; those without sensors need to install them. The really nice thing about having an irrigation system is that the heads are adjusted for the type of watering necessary and the area that the cover can be tightly controlled. When I used a manual sprinkler, it was hard to avoid watering my driveway. With the irrigation system, not a drop of water goes on a hard surface.
Gabe A July 20, 2012 at 07:58 PM
To your son Johnny, if he parks his car on the fields on odd days we can be more effective with the water usage. Two birds one stone. As to the race wars, I do not condone that type of driving and neither should you with your son
News Man July 20, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Only 20 years here Crofw? Take in a movie downtown tonight and relax a little. Says, this 65 year resident.
Johnny Tran July 20, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Obviously you guys don't know how much water costs the town every month. Between the purchase price (which has to be pre-negotiated by the town), the cost of transportation, and then the vitamin treatments, the town spends upwards of $10M every month on water alone. No one should be entitled to wasting water on lawn ornaments.
John Dustin July 20, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Who cares how long your residency is news man, it doesn't make it any more plausible for them looking the other way while they water lawns at their precious schools
Gabe A July 20, 2012 at 08:10 PM
News man, 5,20, or 65 years shouldn't make a difference. We all pay the same taxes and all deal with the same pathetic people. Typical ridgewoodian here....
John Dustin July 20, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Wats dat news man? You raff you ruse?
Concerned resident of wood July 20, 2012 at 08:16 PM
@news man, last time I checked my taxes help contribute to the schools, and preferential treatment towards unused property is ridiculous. I didn't know that the schools have special grass that needs water every single day or it will die.
John Dustin July 20, 2012 at 08:25 PM
Hey Dom, how about you relax a little bit?
Johnny Tran July 20, 2012 at 09:16 PM
relax? r u kiddin me? i never narc'd on nobody!
Paul July 21, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Jim Morgan for Superintendent!! Think about it Ridgewood. Less Taxes, More Water!!
Michael Sedon July 21, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Hey, chill out on the News Man. He has a wealth of historical Ridgewood knowledge. He knows where the town came from and how it got to where it is 65 years later. I bet his first quarterly tax bill was like $35. Not look at tax bills. That, in itself, is an incredible journey, and he's seen it all.
News Man July 21, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Thanks Mike Sedon, that mortgage rate was at 4% for the 450 home owner in the Ridgewood Lawns. I picked a location from a map right next door to an existing building owned by the inspector Mr. Bartell (Street named for the family) at that time. He provided me with quick solutions to property inprovements with this advice "Its your house do what you want".. Don't try that today. Now that was appreciated.. It took me 35 years, after several recastings for loans, business investments, kids education and etc, etc. etc, I paid off the mortgages. Oh well, I tried. and had my 1939 Underwood Typewriter bronzed. Nobody is getting that one. Now it's your turn Mike. (Dom)
News Man July 21, 2012 at 11:30 PM
Added note Mike, Mr. Bartell had his own well used water for lawns and garden. Water level only 6--7 feet down.

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