NJ DEP Closes Shellfish
Beds in Response to the Sayreville Sewage Spill:
Continues to Work with Middlesex County Utilities Authority
to Ensure Public Safety
(03/24) Trenton The New Jersey
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in cooperation
with the Middlesex County Utilities Authority (MCUA) is
making an urgent request for residents and industries within
the MCUA sewage treatment plant's service area to limit
their water usage as much as possible in response to the
March 2 sewage line break.
"By limiting water use, residents
and local industries can help reduce impacts from the sewage
line break on our natural resources," said DEP Commissioner
Bradley M. Campbell. "We will continue to monitor the
situation to ensure that everything is being done to stop
the sewage flow and protect public health."
Sewage leakage has been contained within
the immediate area of the break, with trucks transporting
sewage to a nearby treatment site. Eighty-five percent of
the sewage flow has been diverted to a parallel sewage line,
however - as a result of limited capacity in the replacement
line and above average precipitation and snow melt - approximately
15 percent of the sewage flow is discharging into the Raritan
Limited water use is being requested to
reduce sewage flow into the Raritan River. Anticipated rain
and ongoing snow melt could increase the inflow into the
sewage system and result in elevated flows. Residents can
assist by taking shorter showers instead of baths, reducing
dishwasher use and turning off water while brushing teeth.
DEP also is asking any industries with the capability to
minimize their wastewater flow to do so at this time.
On March 3, 2003, DEP Commissioner Bradley
M. Campbell issued a public notice closing shellfish beds
in the Raritan Bay, Sandy Hook Bay, Navesink River and the
Shrewsbury River. Harvesting activities are banned until
further notice. While the DEP understands the impact the
shellfish bed closures has on harvesters, public health
concerns are paramount.
The DEP is conducting ongoing water sampling
tests and will continue to monitor the environmental impacts
that result from the sewage discharge.
Areas within the Middlesex County Utility
Authority's service area that are being asked to limit water
Bound Brook, Carteret, Cranbury, East Brunswick,
Edison, Franklin Township, Helmetta, Highland park, Jamesburg,
Metuchen, Middlesex, Milltown, Monroe, New Brunswick, North
Brunswick, Old Bridge, Perth Amboy, Piscataway, Plainsboro,
Plainfield Area Sewage Authority (Bridgewater, Dunellen,
Greenbrook, Plainfield, North Plainfield, South Plainfield,
Scotch Plains, Watchung, Warren Township) Sayreville, South
Bound Brook, South Brunswick, South River, Spotswood and
Bound Brook, Bridgewater, Franklin, Green
Brook, North Plainfield, South Bound Brook, Watchung and
Fanwood, Plainfield and Scotch Plains.