A $105,000 bond ordinance to be used for the planning and design of the sewage system at Princeton Farms was unanimously adopted by the Hopewell Township Committee this week.
Princeton Farms is a subdivision of single family homes that encompasses Wargo Road and Moores Mill-Mount Rose Road.
On April 15 during the township committee meeting, Mayor Kristin McLaughlin, Deputy Mayor Michael Ruger, Committeewoman Julie Blake, Committeeman John Hart and Committeeman Kevin Kuchinski all voted in favor of the bond ordinance.
“The reason this ordinance is happening now is because the sewer system at Princeton Farms has more water going out than coming in, which is bad for sewer systems,” Mayor McLaughlin said. “This resulted in the loss of sewage from the sewer main to the environment, as well as, remission of ground water and sewer water to the store collection system. This led to a notice of violation for wet well overflow by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP).”
She said the ordinance is step one in figuring out how to address the problem.
“We are first developing an asset management plan, which is what the bond is for. Hopefully we will get a principle forgiveness grant from NJDEP. The grant can cover up to $100,000 in cost for the asset management plan. So first we have to bond for the grant,” Mayor McLaughlin said.
According to the NJDEP, asset management is a process to ensure that there is sufficient investment in and planned maintenance, needed repair, replacement and upgrade of the physical components of a drinking water or wastewater system.
The asset management plan is estimated to cost $105,000 according to officials.
“The state grant program is a terrific way to help the residents of Princeton Farms cost effectively address the problems with their sewer. When there are problems with the sewer system residents that use it are the ones who have to pay for it,” Mayor McLaughlin said. “The principle forgiveness grant would help them offset the cost.”
The sewer system at Princeton Farms consists of approximately 11,000 feet of gravity sewer mains, a pump station, and 13,000 layer of feet of pressurized force mains, that serve 211 residential customers, according to officials.
“Once we got the notice we knew we needed to take steps to make sure everything is working properly. You cannot have sewage leaking into the ground and having infiltration problems. It is just not good for everyone,” Mayor McLaughlin said.