Well To Be Filtrated For Chemicals

Manchester Township Business Administrator Carl Block leans back in his chair as he speaks to a resident about Well #4 remediation during a recent Township Council meeting. Township Mayor Robert Arace is seated behind him. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  MANCHESTER – The township will pay $150,000 for remediation of the well in the eastern service area that has high levels of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).

  Business Administrator Carl Block explained that the remediation was a “temporary filtration system that will cover our peak seasons and will filtrate for PFOS. Federal funding will replace that. It will be a temporary filtration unit for six months. The permanent fix will be an upgrade of the treatment station which will be quite a bit more money.”

  He added that the reason for the temporary fix was that the upgrade work couldn’t be done in time for the summer season heavy water usage months. “You have to design, permit and then build the upgrade. It will probably be in the neighborhood of $2 million and will probably take you a year to build.”

  If the temporary option were not done, there could be water shortages “for this summer season so the only way to do that is temporary filtration. We applied for federal money that we are assured we will be getting so this will be no cost to us,” he said.

  The new water tower off Route 70 would require water divergent permits to pull additional water from the ground, according to Block, in response to another resident’s question. “The problem with that is that it would still need to be treated. Towers are for storage.”

  The contamination by the PFOS is from the Lakehurst Naval station portion of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. The chemicals were used for fire drills held at the base that have contaminated ground water.

  “We used it for mock fires and it was used in foam and I was up to my waist in foam,” said Councilman Joseph Hankins, a firefighter.

  “We have monitoring in every single one of our wells and well 4 was taken off as a safety precaution and we need temporary filtration to bring it back on line,” Mayor Robert Arace said, noting that several months ago the township entered into an interlocal water connection agreement with Lakehurst Borough.

  In other news, the governing body also recognized National Emergency Medical Services week with a proclamation to a large number of the township’s EMS workers.

  There were also two ordinances for land swaps with Jeffrey Jerman, a local developer.

  “They are vacant lots that are being swapped,” Township Attorney Lauren Staiger said. “There was a request to purchase the property that the township owned. There were some concerns about drainage so a proposed swap was then offered. Since it was all in a similar area.”

  “The original land that was requested for purchase, the town wanted to keep the lot because it could be used for drainage purposes moving forward. The applicant was told the town wouldn’t sell it for that reason. Then it was suggested that we swap a lot that he had with a different lot that he could use and that is what happened,” she explained.

  Staiger said it had been recommended that the property be put back on the tax role and for it to be utilized. “If it is purchased the person could seek a variance just as if we said no.”

Manchester Mayor Robert Arace at left presents a proclamation to members of the Township EMS for National Emergency Medical Services week during the latest Township Council meeting. (Photo Provided By Manchester Township)

  Business Administrator Carl Block explained “the swap makes it less of a variance so it does keep (potential) houses further apart. This can make it more conforming than it was to begin with.”

  When asked by a resident what the advantage of doing this was to the township, Block responded that there were two advantages.

  “If you apply for a variance for an oversized lot, if we say no, the applicant goes to the Zoning Board and says I tried to buy it from the town and I want to build it on an even smaller lot so you get a bigger lot out of it than you would have got because there are certain people in business that are dealing in that kind of situation,” Block said.

  “The township took the position that because that was a drainage area (of Pine Lake Park) that could potentially be utilized. Our position was ‘no’ but in that case he could have approached the Zoning Board with a 50 x 100 which I am obviously adamantly opposed to,” Mayor Arace said.

  “Our solution recommended by our various department heads was, while not ideal” they will still have to go before the Zoning Board to make the final decision but we are trying to limit 50 x 100 where possible,” Arace added. The applicant owns an adjacent lot to that land.

  Also approved was an ordinance to vacate a right-of-way on Burnside Street in Pine Lake Park.