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West Orange Township Council Conference Agenda Focuses on Storm Water Management

Christopher Harewood

Wednesday, June 11, 2014 • 11:19pm

WEST ORANGE, NJ - A presentation on storm water management highlighted the the Conference portion of the West Orange Township Council Meeting on June 10.

This year’s Flag Day ceremony will take place on Friday, June 13 at at the Fire Department at 415 Valley Road beginning at 10 am. The ceremony will retire an American flag and spread its ashes. All are invited to attend, and refreshments will be served. Residents wishing to retire a flag of their own are encouraged to bring it to the ceremony for proper disposal. 

Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission representative Ashley Stagle and Rutgers Water Resources Program representative Jeremiah Bergstrom discussed “Green Infrastructure” – a plan they have in place to help address water pollution.

According to Stagle, the program PVSC is working on in collaboration with Rutgers aims to manage, or at least contain, storm water.  “Around 60% of New Jersey’s water pollution is related to storm water,” Stagle said. “We are rolling out an infrastructure to better handle storm water on-site.”

Though the project plans to have a presence in the entire district, they are starting started off in seven municipalities, including West Orange. 

The first of the project’s year one goals is municipal outreach and education, beginning with a kickoff meeting in  Passaic last May. In addition, four public information sessions encouraging input from communities interested in working with them were held along with an infrastructure training program that took place in January.

The second goal is Community-Based Technical Assistance. Over the last several months the PVSC worked with interested municipalities and analyzed opportunities for each, including the development of dry wells.

The final goal is to have demonstration projects developed such as rainwater harvesting system, porous pavement, and rain gardens - a landscape depression planted in order to capture storm water.

PVSC plans to renew their relationship with Rutgers for multiple years and to eventually branch out to all municipalities.

Bergstrom says that Rutgers and the PVSC want to “make the community aware and give them the opportunity to take action”, and that projects would cost “anywhere from 500 to 5,000 dollars” depending on what is being done. 

During the public portion of the meeting, the council voted to allow Rutgers and PVSC to conduct a town-wide survey of sites suitable for rain gardens to lessen the effects of storm water run-off.

Previous meetings have already been held with Council President McCartney and Environmental Commission Chair Mike Brick, Business Administrator Jack Sayers, Township Engineer Leonard Lepore and Asst. DPW Director Nick Salese to recommend potential sites. 

The Environmental Commission will meet at their regularly scheduled monthly public meeting to discuss the agreement commitment with Rutgers and PVSC.

More information about the project can be found at water.rutgers.edu.

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