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DEP's Sewering Plan for Holmdel Could Affect Water Supply

Sewering could lead to development, which could negatively affect the drinking water supply, says Mayor Patrick Impreveduto.

Mayor Patrick Impreveduto delivered the following statement at the May 19 Township Committee meeting:

Since 2002 the Township Committee has been working with the NJ DEP and the Monmouth County Planning Board on the Wastewater Management Plan. The township has always been consistent in that there has been no expansion of sewer service to Holmdel Park, Garden State Arts Center and the Lucent property. 

The sewer line on the Lucent property was approved in the early 1990's for the building only. The reason it was approved is that heavy metals were being disposed of in the wastewater of Bell Labs. And that wastewater would then flow through into the Ramanessin Stream, which in turn would feed the Swimming River Reservoir which is the sole source of water for most of Monmouth County. 

Regarding the GSAC tract and Holmdel Park, this area contains critical headwaters for our drinking system. This ridgeline is packed with streams and wetlands that also serve a majority of water to the Reservoir itself. The DEP has labeled this area as a Category 1 area.

Now, all of you are aware that we are in deep negotiations with a contract developer for the Lucent property. Now, during negotiations we tried to do what is right for Holmdel and for the environment. We restricted sewer service lines to its current state, which is the building only. 

 We did this so we are not at risk for future high-density development, development on the entire site. This is providing that the current developer deal falls through. We were worried about the future, so we were rigid in making sure that we did not sewer anything but what was presently sewered. And by the way, DEP has labeled this site -- which I find ironic -- environmentally sensitive!

The same thing holds true for the Garden State Arts Center property. There we have 1.2 acres of park and woodlands. We are told the DEP's position is that allowing sewer service will support its mission. 

Well it’s interesting; we don't know what their mission is. And we don't know if it’s good for Holmdel or not. 

To summarize, it comes down to this -- and I hope I am correct, I am getting a crash course in environmental stuff in these last couple of days -- if you cover up all the land with buildings, roadways, parking lots, etc. and don't allow the rain, snow and yes, septic, to meander slowly down to be cleansed and filtered by the soil, you are not going to recharge the aquifer. And at the same time if you have this impervious coverage you get this massive runoff, from the surface, and the aquifer eventually will become weak and salt will move in and the water level will drop.

Water levels can drop so much that it will affect our personal drinking water. 

So the water supply is a critical issue to all of us, and we have done our part, in Holmdel, trying to protect it. 

We cannot understand why the DEP doesn't help protect it as well. 

So we're asking all of you to join all the Township Committee members and other members of our community in protecting Holmdel's environment. 

We have a petition drive beginning tonight, and continuing it for a period of time, right outside our doors. So if you believe in what we're doing won't you please sign our petition.

Also, we are going to encourage the residents to join us on June 6, 6:30 p.m. showing at the Manalapan Library to help us present our petition in keeping Holmdel environmentally safe. 

Tony Orsini May 23, 2011 at 12:59 PM
All this could have been avoided if Township Committee Republicans, led by Committeewoman DiMaso, would have supported the Wastewater Management plan proposed by Larry Fink, Janet Berk and myself, and THAT is a matter of record. Suddenly Mr. Impreveduto and his cohorts are posing as environmentalists trying to save the town after they continually attempt neutralize and exclude Larry Fink from all land use issues. A fine mess they've gotten us into, Ollie.
bud May 23, 2011 at 03:03 PM
While this discussion is taking place, about a mile or two down Crawfords Corner Rd, Middletown just approved a plan for over 500 housing units which encompass the Bamm Hollow Golf Course and the adjacent Avaya property, the former Tomahawk Golf Course. These properties, along with the Lucent property and Garden State Arts Center property could bring the total housing units into the 2,000 range. ALL of these properties feed into the existing water supply. At the same time, the US Navy is being forced to DESTROY 330 perfectly good EXISTING housing units within shouting distance of Holmdel and Middletown. Doesn't this remind you of the former Soviet Union and the way THEY ran their government? Time for OUR local governments to call in the cards and get Gov. Chris Christie and Lt. Gov. Kim Gaudagno personally involved. Time to show these entrenched Trenton agency bunglers the way the real world works! Will we eventually find that the Feds are behind this?
Roberta May 23, 2011 at 03:54 PM
All of Holmdel depends on the Swimming River Reservoir for at least half of every year and most of Holmdel depends completely of this reservoir. Additionally 250,000 + Monmouth County Residents depend on the Swimming River Reservoir. It services the heavily populated eastern and northern portions of Monmouth County. The Garden State Arts Center property contains approximately 300 acres of park and woodlands; if added to sewer service it would support other uses, with added impervious coverage, compromising the headwaters of a major stream system feeding the Swimming River Reservoir.
Practical Thinker June 07, 2011 at 01:44 PM
"250,000+ Monmouth County residents depend on the Swimming River Reservoir." That is PRECISELY why the NJDEP included PARTS of the South Slope - NOT ALL - like all the two-faced - "I've got a sewer, but you can't have one" NIMIBYS would have you believe...Those 250,000+ Monmouth County Residents are TIRED of Holmdel Village's FAILING septics streaming feces into the tributaries of the SWR. Ask NJ American Water how much it costs THEM to clean the crap out of the water - Monmout County Planning Board did a study of the Ramanessin Stream and DOCUMENTS the fact that FAILING septics in the South Slope are CONTAMINATING the reservoir and its tributaries EVERY DAY the run off you all "depend upon" for "fresh" water to the "replenish the aquifiers" when what is really happening is they are sucking up your inadequate leach field's poop! DEVELOPMENT is a ZONING issue! If you don't want townhouses, whatever, you don't zone accordingly. Duh!
Practical Thinker June 07, 2011 at 01:45 PM
SANITARY SEWERS protect the PUBLIC HEALTH! When your kids (or those in Colts Neck down hill from you) start getting meningitis from feces infecting drinking wells and aquifiers - we'll see how fast you change your tune...just wait - if you continue in your myopic view of this matter - it WILL happen...Heaven forbid! Get real people - Nobody wants to sewer all of the Arts Center! For what?! Nobody wants to sewer open space. They can't! Nobody wants to put a sewer where it isn't NEEDED to TRULY protect the Reservoir and as far as Lucent goes - Balmer is DEAD wrong (as usual she uses half-truths and has an agenda of her OWN) Lucent got the green light YEARS AGO to put sewers throughout and Holmdel was all too happy at the time to have LUCENT PAY for sewer service to the Holmdel Town Hall, Police and Post Office. I guess your Public Officials recognize the VALUE of a sewer when it comes to where they flush.
Tony Orsini June 07, 2011 at 08:14 PM
Practical Thinker? You are absolutely clueless and manifest the ignorance your ilk labors under. There's a falsehood in almost EVERY one of your statements. Suggest you get educated on the matter. Are you aware that two-thirds of the USA is NOT sewered? Do we have a health problem? No. Last night Holmdel's Mayor and officials all spoke out AGAINST the DEP's proposed plan. Get a clue: zoning can always be changed [BOUGHT]. Sewers are a major impediment. From at least 1989 to present Holmdel's Master Plans were consistent in limiting sewers to the Lucent building ONLY for that property. No one put a gun to your head and made you buy a home with septic, and you can always buy one sewered in Holmdel if you wish. But you have no right to force sewers on your neighbors.
Tony Orsini June 07, 2011 at 08:16 PM
Plus the Monmouth County Planning Board and all the County Freeholders are now on record as OPPOSING the new DEP wasterwater management plan for Holmdel

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