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November 15, 2004

Contact: Erin Phalon
(609) 984-1795

DEP Reaches Water Reuse Settlement with Gloucester County

County Will Construct Wastewater Reuse System at Pitman Golf Course

(04/133) TRENTON - Settling water allocation permit violations, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced that Gloucester County will pay the state $10,000 and create a wastewater reuse system to irrigate Pitman Golf Course in Mantua Township.

"This settlement underscores the importance of protecting New Jersey's water resources and identifying alternative water supply strategies," said Commissioner Campbell. "By developing a wastewater reuse system, Gloucester County can continue to provide excellent recreation opportunities at its golf course while adhering to the limits of its water allocation permit."

The settlement agreement addresses the county's use of more water than permitted to irrigate Pitman Golf Course, which is located in an area with a significantly limited potable water supply. The water allocation permit violations occurred in the years 1999 to 2002. On July 28, 2003, DEP issued a Notice of Violation to Gloucester County Parks and Recreation, which owns and operates Pitman Golf Course.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Gloucester County will work with Rowan University to construct a wastewater reuse/reclamation project that will provide an alternate irrigation source for the golf course. Reclamation of water for reuse involves using highly treated, reclaimed wastewater to offset withdrawals of potable ground and surface water. To protect public health, treated water for use in public areas such as golf courses is subject to stringent safety requirements. Reuse reduces demand on public water supplies and keeps water in the natural hydrologic system, which can be extremely beneficial under drought conditions.

Gloucester County will tap into a wastewater line used by Gloucester County Utilities Authorities, extract raw sewage and treat the raw sewage at a small satellite plant. The treated wastewater will then be used to irrigate Pitman Golf Course. Gloucester County will begin operating the wastewater reuse/reclamation project by July 31, 2009.

The implementation of the wastewater reuse/reclamation project will enable Gloucester County to properly irrigate the golf course without purchasing additional potable water or violating the diversion limits outlined in its water allocation permit.

The settlement agreement also contains a penalty in the amount of $49,125.00. Gloucester County must pay $10,000 of the total penalty to settle its excess diversion of water in 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2002. The remaining balance of $39,125 will become due only if Gloucester County fails to complete and implement the wastewater reuse/reclamation project stipulated in the agreement.

DEP strongly supports alternative water supply strategies to avoid water loss and supplement existing water supplies. Commissioner Campbell recently solicited proposals for alternative water supply strategy projects from over 400 water purveyors, dischargers and agricultural users throughout the state. Specifically, Commissioner Campbell requested strategies for the injection of reclaimed water into the ground water system, wastewater reuse for irrigation and aquifer storage and recovery. DEP will evaluate the proposals submitted and provide grants using funds secured from the 1981 Water Supply Bond Fund.

The state of New Jersey regulates water allocation under the Water Supply Management Act.



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