Extension of Sewers Will Adversely Impact Holmdel

What you haven't been told about the extension of sewers.

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 lms921@verizon.net.

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


This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Realist November 02, 2012 at 09:20 PM
The comment that septic tanks refresh the aquifers is true, but irrelevant. It takes hundreds to thousands of years before the septic tank waters reach the aquifers. The sewers effluent may be out at sea, but that, too, eventually gets recycled as rain. If you are against growth, just say so, don't pass your opinion off as science.
Larrabee M. Smith November 05, 2012 at 02:27 AM
Dear. Mr. Realist, I don't claim to be an expert on the time it takes for water from a septic system to reach the Aquifer but my comment was based on comments of an expert. However, I will check with other experts when power is restored and life is back to normal. I will post what I learn. Perhaps I misunderstood the comments of expert I spoke with on the importance of the Aquifer. In any event, I always try to stick with the facts. In the interim, let’s assume that your statement is correct. It would mean that the Aquifer is fed with a relatively constant rate source and therefore is easily depleted and over use will assure that it is depleted. It also means that our reservoirs are even more important. As I stated previously, most of the water from septic systems in Holmdel, reach the reservoir. They are therefore especially important to provide drinking water for Holmdel. Your claim that the output of the sewage treatment plant is recycled as rain sounds real but it isn’t meaningful to Holmdel and is misleading. The fact is that only a microscopic amount is recycled as rain in NJ, never mind, Holmdel. Most rain across all land masses on the plant comes from Ocean waters but most of the USA and other lands masses are More below.
Larrabee M. Smith November 05, 2012 at 02:31 AM
not nearly as densely populated as NJ or other coastal area, and they do not dump their treatment plant outflows into the Ocean. Therefore, while some of the outflow from NJ sewage treatment plants return to NJ as rain, the amount is relatively trivial. As far as Growth is concerned, we don't need sewers to promote growth of the right kind in Holmdel. It should be criminal to promote growth that will have a seriously negative impact in the future. A suitable alternative to sewers is waste treatment systems that provide for the use of treated water for toilets in buildings. This not only reduces the drinking water used but reduces the amount of treated waste that must be absorbed in the ground. In the situation, we face in Monmouth County and most of NJ, where it is common knowledge that we have a growing fresh water shortage, this should be the law. Arguing that we should provide sewers to encourage growth is equivalent to living the good life by using your credit cards. It reminds me of a lady who wrote in an Asbury Park Press ‘L to the E’ that she couldn’t understand other Senior complaining about Romney’s plans for SS because he promised to assure that all present Seniors receive presently defined benefits. Most Seniors have children and Grandchildren and some have Great Grandchildren. I believe it is criminal to ignore the impact of today’s action on the future. More below.
Larrabee M. Smith November 05, 2012 at 02:32 AM
Larrabee M. Smith December 02, 2012 at 10:15 PM
Dear Mr. Realist, As promised, I'm getting back to you on the question of the recharge of Aquifers. I apologize for the delay but I've been busy with personal problems. However, I finally made contact with my expert friend and learned that the answer is that you are totally wrong and all of the information you can use is available through GOOGLE and Wikipedia. You can spend hours reading all the material that it available. I suggest you start with http://www.issaquah.org/comorg/gwac/hydro.htm and move on to the many other discussions. As far as the time it takes for surface water (rain or from septic systems, etc.) to reach an aquifer, it varies from minutes to never, depending on the conditions. If you have any level of intelligence and objectivity, you will join those pressing the State DEP to drop plans for expansion of sewers. Thank you for forcing me to get the facts!!


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