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Mine Hill Township
Morris County, New Jersey

Sewer Update


We posted our sewer survey a while back and I wanted to give some updates on where we are with extending sewer service through town.  Over 80% of the people who responded wanted sewers.

This update is in 2 parts: Top of the hill is one part and the bottom of the hill or the “flats” section fo town is another part.

Bottom of the hill:  The bottom of the hill or “flats” or western section of Mine Hill is part of the Raritan River/Black River Basin.  This area would be served by the Roxbury Sewer Facilty off Eyeland Avenue just South of Horseshoe Lake.  We has discussed this with Roxbury and they seem to have no objections.  They are currently planning an upgrade to the sewer plant and we need to discuss this further with them. We need only about 40,000 gallons of sewage (a small amount) to put in sewers for this section of town.  We are discussing this and will know more detail within a few months.  When I have more details, I will send them out and also call a town meeting and invite you to come for a discussion.

Top of the Hill:  The top of the hill is served by the Rockaway River/Passac River Basin and is a much longer story but interesting.

In 1987 Mine Hill signed an agreement with the Rockaway Valley Sewer Authority for sewer services.  Our initial allocation was 37,000 gallons.  The contract stated we would install sewer meters.  (This is a requirement of the EPA).  Mine HIll never put in these meters as we expanded our sewer system.  (Shame on us right?)  Well, no actually.  Also in 1987 the attorney for the sewer authority gave Mine Hill’s attorney a letter saying in essence to disregard the meter requirment because it’s not particularly easy or cheap to do.  So no one ever bothered to put in the meters.

The problem is – Their attorney only meant don’t bother for the small amount of initial gallons (37,000).  Since then we have increased to 94,000 gallons.  No one on either side asked for or offered the meters to be installed so the installation never happened.  But it’s also kept us from getting the gallons we need to do more houses.

So we have 2 choices as far as the council and I are concerned:

1.  Sue them so we don’t have to put in meters at all based on their letter. (no one will win except the lawyers in the end)

2.  Install meters.    .  Once we install the meters and we get about 6 months of data from them, we can get more sewer gallons from the Sewer Authority.  We believe, based on our water meter data, we are only using about 55,000 gallons of our 94,000 gallon allocation.  So roughly this will get us back 40,000 gallons.  This will allow us to connect about 300 more homes (give or take). So the council and I have decided to install the meters.  It makes more sense than suing them and it actually gets us to our goal of adding more homes to our system.

We will be installing 4 meters in our system at a cost of $53,000.  We will be using meters that use a laser system to accurately meter sewage and send the data through a cellular system to be analyzed and calculated.  It’s excellent new technology and will really help us in the end.

You can see the meters here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2t_kZOZvdY

Time frame:  We will be installing meters this summer.  We expect to have agreement on our extra gallons by the New Year and should be set to begin new installations by March of 2016.

Who will get sewers first?  Williams Street and Central Avenue already have sewer mains in the street so it’s logical they will be first. We will inspect the current pipes and fix any problems and begin there.   This will also include Pine st. etc.  Again, this is because sewer mains are already in the ground in some of this part of town.

The next  areas will be 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th, Clark, Hurd and Anderson etc. Also the section by Canfield School –  Alan, Valleyview and Canfield.  These sections don’t have pipes and will require more engineering and greater cost but it’s part of the overall plan.

I hope this give some insight to where we are with this.  I know there will be questions as we go along and I’ll will post more details as we proceed.

I’d like to thank the council for working with me so diligently on this.  This has been an enormous amount of work to get this much progress and begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Thanks everyone and have a great weekend.