The state DEP position on the extension of sewer service areas to facilitate development is unnecessary and will assure that we suffer potable fresh water shortage sooner than otherwise. It is a well known fact that a fresh water shortage is projected for Monmouth County. Significant growth over the next few years will worsen the supply of an already fragile resource, our drinking water.
Sewers take the water we use and pump it into the Ocean. Septic systems facilitate and filter recharge to our ground water supplies that outcrop to our surface waters supplying the Swimming River Reservoir. Additionally, the water seeps into the earth and to the aquifer.
The extension of sewers, as proposed for Holmdel, may appear to have a positive impact on ratable growth. But, in the long run, this will have two very very serious negative impacts and will benefit only those making money on their installation.
Some have argued that, because some septic systems may fail and pollute steams, sewers are important to protect the environment. This is totally hogwash.
Years ago, failing septic systems in Holmdel were common because enforcement of regulations was lacking. It was an understanding of this that first got me involved in Township affairs.
Further, we know now how to implement Septic systems such that failure will only occur as a result of physical damage or total misuse. The implementation is covered in detail in a paper I offered to distribute anyone interested in a letter to Holmdel Residents dated 11/23/2010.
I would be pleased forward a copy to anyone interested that emails me at email@example.com.
Our Mayor has stated that he has studied the question and sewers are better for the environment. It doesn’t take a Rocket Scientist to understand that septic systems are not only better but important to support our large lot zoning, which is key to holding our tax rate down.
The large minimum lot size requirements, in most of our town, are necessary to provide for an adequate area with adequate percolation to support leach fields for septic systems.
Reduced minimum lot sizes not only means lower tax revenue per residence but would mean more rapid growth because the number of prospective buyers increases as cost is reduced.
Rapid growth is undesirable because it means an increased number of residences with an average number of nearly 2 School age children. The average number for residences more than 25 years old is significantly less than half this number. Slower growth means a smaller number of residences less than 25 years old.
In summary then, the extension of sewers will not only hasten the day when we have a serious shortage of drinking water but will also significantly increase our school costs and tax rate. It is outrageous that our Township Committee has not fought with every possible means the proposed extension of sewers associated with the Lucent redevelopment plans
The DEPs intention to force sewers down our throats for the PNC Arts Center should also be mentioned. This would make the ARTS Center another area for prime high density development. Does the State intend to flip this property to a private developer as well? Has our Mayor and his Committee taken a stand on the DEP's position to sewer more 100s of acres in the heart of Holmdel and the drainage basin for the Swimming River Reservoir watershed? Not to my knowledge.
How much impervious coverage can a watershed bear before the recharge areas are totally paved over? And will the Holmdel taxpayer be willing to pay increased school costs and to repair, maintain and construct the roadways required for the urban sprawl that our Mayor and his Committee seem to be planning or, at least, accepting for Holmdel?
Let’s stop it before it becomes an issue and vote for the Democrats.
Larrabee M. Smith
Chairman of Planning Board in late 60s