Brick Utilities Awarded $950,000 Grant For Water Quality Improvements

Brick Municipal Utilities Authority (Photo by Daniel Nee, courtesy Brick Shorebeat)

BRICK – Brick Township Municipal Utilities Authority (Brick Utilities) will be receiving nearly $1 million for a water quality improvement project at the Metedeconk River.

Brick Utilities was selected as a recipient of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s $10M Barnegat Bay Water Quality Restoration Grants Program. They will receive $950,000 for improvements to the Metedeconk River water quality for water supply and the Barnegat Bay.

“The Metedeconk River is Brick Utilities’ primary source of water supply,” said Brick Utilities

Chairman Gregory M. Flynn. “The protection of the Metedeconk watershed is of critical importance to the Authority and its customers, and we appreciate the support of our partners, particularly Howell and Lakewood Townships, in helping us secure this funding.”

The project encompasses four main tasks, including:

  1. Pathogen source tracking in the North Branch of the Metedeconk River;
  2. Implementation of urban green infrastructure BMP’s, such as rain gardens and tree filters, and evaluation of options to filter stormwater from the largest stormwater outfall in the watershed in Lakewood;
  3. Retrofitting a stormwater basin to promote infiltration and filter stormwater pollutants in Howell Township; and
  4. Initiating a winter road salt demonstration project to minimize chloride loads to the river.

According to data collected by Brick Utilities, chloride concentrations in the Metedeconk River have more than doubled over the past decade as a result of winter road salt applications.

“We understand that public safety and getting the roads cleared is the highest priority when it comes to winter storms,” said Brick Utilities Executive Director Chris Theodos. “We are going to look at practical ways to meet those objectives and at the same time lessen the amount of chloride loading to the Metedeconk River, as has been done in many other places in the country.”

With this sizeable grant, Brick Utilities plans to reduce the overall pollutants making their way into the Metedeconk River while also managing antiquated stormwater management systems. One of the most concerning threats to the river is stormwater runoff, which picks up pollutants from roads, parking lots, lawns and other areas as it runs off and carries these pollutants to local waterways.

These goals are main priorities outlined in the Metedeconk River Watershed Protection and Restoration Plan, which Brick Utilities completed in 2013.

These projects will help to maintain and protect the Metedeconk, which is a critical water resource for the region. It serves as the principle water supply for Brick Utilities, which provides drinking water to more than 100,000 shore area residents in Brick and surrounding communities, including Howell and Lakewood. The Metedeconk is also a major source of freshwater inflow to Barnegat Bay.

For more information, view NJDEP’s Barnegat Bay Water Quality Restoration Grants Program or the Metedeconk River Watershed Protection & Restoration Plan.