Highlands Council approves funding to support watershed assessment

West Milford. Regional watershed based assessment will be done by the township.

| 19 Oct 2020 | 08:04

The Highlands Council has approved funding up to $200,000 to support watershed assessment surrounding 22 private and public lakes in West Milford Township.

Also approved for the municipality by the regional planning agency is additional grant funding not to exceed $70,900 for storm water infrastructure mapping.

‘A priority for the Highlands Council’

In the first phase of a two-phase watershed assessment project the scope of work is focused on historic data review, an examination of hydrologic/pollutant loads; a pollutant removal analysis; and stream/watershed water quality analysis.

“Lake and watershed management have been in the news a lot the past two years, but it has always been a priority for the Highlands Council,” said Highlands Council Chairman Carl Richko. “These Plan Conformance grants will support local projects that help ensure safe and plentiful drinking water for the residents of the State of New Jersey.”

The Stormwater Mapping Infrastructure Project involves development of a single Geographic Information System (GIS) map of the complete storm water infrastructure system and a database of storm water information for the entire township. The project will enable West Milford to fully meet its Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) permit requirements while building a comprehensive database that will assist in future management and maintenance of the system.

Other support funding grants

Four other support funding grants were also approved. One in neighboring Jefferson Township involves a water feasibility study not to exceed $100,000. With significant property frontage on the north and northeast portions of Lake Hopatcong, much of which is occupied by single-family homes on small lots serviced by aging se[tic systems, Jefferson Township plans to evaluate the viability of implementing public sanitary sewers in this area.

Previous studies have indicated the area is a significant contributor to phosphorus loading in the lake, which is known to encourage Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs).

Another project which is not to exceed $24,400 is designed to advance Passaic County efforts to provide bicycle and pedestrian access and safety enhancements to assist its municipalities in attracting visitors to their downtown and scenic tourism areas.

The need for a Beach Restoration project at the Mount Arlington Municipal Beach in Morris County was initially identified in the recently completed Lake Hopatcong Watershed Implementation Plan. This grant is not to exceed $60,000. The proposed project will result in a plan that outlines strategies to address water quality improvements through restoration of the beach, park and associated stream areas.

Development of a municipal-wide Water Use and Conservation Management Plan (WUCMP) by Stanhope Borough in Sussex County is also not to exceed $60,000. Although Stanhope Borough is a non conforming municipality in the Planning Area, a WUCMP is required in certain circumstances to comply with Executive Order 114 (EO114).

- Ann Genader