Under an ordinance amended at the July 24 Board of Trustees meeting, a watering violation in Macomb Township will now be a civil infraction, rather than a misdemeanor.

Under an ordinance amended at the July 24 Board of Trustees meeting, a watering violation in Macomb Township will now be a civil infraction, rather than a misdemeanor.

Photo by Sarah Purlee


Water ordinance violations now will be civil infractions in Macomb Township

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published August 6, 2019

 Macomb Township’s watering ordinance states that from May to October, automatic lawn and/or landscaping irrigation is prohibited between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m.

Macomb Township’s watering ordinance states that from May to October, automatic lawn and/or landscaping irrigation is prohibited between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m.

Photo by Alex Szwarc

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — With an uptick in watering violations, the time apparently has come for an ordinance amendment.

A request was made by Macomb Township General Counsel and Human Resources Director Tom Esordi at the July 24 Board of Trustees meeting to approve an amendment to the code of ordinances regarding limitations on water use.

Chapter 15 of the code of ordinances, Esordi said, needed to be amended in an effort to protect the public health, safety and welfare, and provide for decreases in maximum water usage at peak hours in order to achieve a better water rate.

The board unanimously approved that a watering violation in Macomb Township is now a civil infraction, rather than a misdemeanor, which was the violation’s penalty under the former ordinance.

The ordinance states that from May 15 to Oct. 15, automatic lawn and/or landscaping irrigation is prohibited between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m. The exception is a property with a newly seeded or sodded lawn may for the first three weeks following planting, irrigate the lawn as often as required, except between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m.

“There was some discussion about our current ordinance and the penalties imposed for not watering within the appropriate times,” Esordi said at the meeting. “The general concept is these types of ordinances should be corrective in nature, not necessarily just punitive. The idea is you want it corrected, you don’t just want to take money from everyone.”

The change would allow the township to feel more comfortable about issuing citations to people who fail to comply.

“It would give us the opportunity to provide notices prior to issuing the tickets to give people a chance to take corrective nature,” Esordi said.

Macomb Township Water and Sewer Superintendent Gerry Wangelin said that between eight and 10 violations are sent out daily in regard to watering.

“We’re trying to get folks to follow this, all for good reason — to achieve a better water rate,” he said.

Macomb Township Supervisor Janet Dunn said Wangelin indicated to her that violations are getting out of control.

“When the ordinance was first enforced, everyone was more conscious of it,” Dunn said. “Now, it’s been enforced for several years and they seem to be disregarding it, so they are watering at all times of the day, contrary to the policy.”   

The ordinance was created in 2009.

Wangelin said two notices are sent out to homeowners, and if there is a third violation, either himself or his assistant will visit the home.

“It’s come to a point where people are disregarding it,” he said. “We’re trying really hard to enforce this.”

A violation of the watering ordinance is a fine between $100 and $500.

Violations will be administered and enforced by the township ordinance enforcement officer, Macomb County Sheriff’s Office or by others designated by the Township Board.

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