DEP ISSUES LIMITED WATER PERMIT FOR CONSUMERS NJ WOOLWICH
TO PROTECT AQUIFER & OTHER USERS IN GLOUCESTER/SALEM COUNTIES
The state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today issued
a limited water allocation permit to Consumers New Jersey Water Co.'s
Woolwich system (Gloucester County) which allows some increase in current
aquifer withdrawals for the next two years, but requires an alternate
water supply plan for meeting future demand. "
After study by DEP and the U.S. Geological Survey, it was determined
that this limited allocation will not result in saltwater intrusion or
creation of a new critical water area, and will not reverse the gains
made previously in the PRM (Potomac-Raritan-Magothy) aquifer within Critical
Area 2. It is important for long-term planning, that an alternative water
supply plan be developed to accommodate future growth demands in the area
without threatening the aquifer or other users," said DEP Commissioner
The authorized allocation is the same as DEP proposed in January prior
to a public hearing and comment period. It allows an annual allocation
of 116.5 million gallons from two wells until 2003 with a peak monthly
limit of 30 million gallons. Consumers had requested 360 million gallons
a year for a large new residential development in Woolwich, Weatherby
by Summit Ventures.
DEP decided on the partial allocation amount based on USGS's groundwater
modeling projections of the impact of permit requests in the area on the
PRM aquifer. DEP proposed limited allocations for three other permit requests
in January and will finalize these permit decisions shortly. The other
pending permit allocations are for Woodstown Borough, NJ American Water.
Co.-Logan Township, and South Jersey Water Supply Co.- Harrison Township.
In addition to requiring Consumers Water Co. to submit an alternative
water plan within six months, the permit requires adoption of a water
conservation plan and quarterly reports on water use including aquifer
levels and sodium and chloride concentrations.
USGS is currently conducting Phase 2 of the Salem-Gloucester study, to
be completed in 2003, for expanded modeling to determine likely chloride
and sodium concentrations and arrival times at specific well fields based
upon various scenarios, and to determine optimum pumping locations to