Topic: COMMUNITY INTEREST
DPW in Hamilton Assists With Flooding
photo taken by Tammy Duffy on Laura Ave in Cornell Heights last week after the paving by Hamilton DPW
Storm drain inlet bags are made from a heavy fibrous material that allows the water to drain into the storm drain. When these are used, and it is mandatory in the state of NJ that they are used when a road is being paved in the presence of a storm drain, they keep the asphalt and tar from entering the waterway. These inlet bags are used by taking the storm drain head off and put it on, then place the storm drain cover back on. This then keeps all the contaminate rocks, milling, tar from entering the storm drain. The bags fibrous material allows water to keep on flowing into the storm drain. These bags are very strong and can withstand a lot of material into them.
Over the past several weeks Hamilton Township DPW has been repaving roads in the Cornell Heights area. They ignored the fact that the usage of these bags is mandatory. There is not an option to not use them. Severe fines, jail time can result if a contractor ignores this law that requires the usage of storm drain inlet bags. The detrimental effect this level of ignorance has a negative impact on flooding. The material dumped into the storm drain by the Hamilton DPW will clog the storm drain. The township and or the state then will have to come back and use a large suction vacuum to clean the storm drains. If they do not clean up this mess they made its guaranteed that flooding will result due to this amazing technique utilized by the Hamilton twp DPW. Many years ago the inlet pipes were made smaller so that water bottles and trash could not get into the water ways. So dropping asphalt and tar down a storm drain during resurfacing of a road, it just gross negligence.
When the township used their asphalt paver, when they came up to one of the storm drain boxes, they paved right over it and then scraped the asphalt off. When they scraped it off it fell into the storm drain. The tar they used also was scraped off and that too fell into the storm drain. This gross negligence on the behalf of the Hamilton DPW will clog the storm drain and increase flooding in the area.
After the asphalt and tar leaves the storm train it will enter the waterway. Even if the township employees cannot read (the storm drain has labeling on it, DO NOT DUMP GOES TO WATER WAYS) there is iconography of fish that demonstrate whatever you dump in the drain will have a direct effect on the waterway and fish life.
LAZY, that is the only word to describe this road resurfacing technique utilized by the DPW from Hamilton township. On the highways, the DOT makes the union companies that are doing the overlays, mandate that the companies use the storm drain inlet bags. This then saves money to the state because without the use of the bags the state would then have to pay to have the storm drains cleaned on the highways.
Looks like the taxpayers of Hamilton are going to have to pay to have the storm drains cleaned again, thanks to the Hamilton DPW. There are three different outfits paving the roads in Hamilton. The non-union company, Earle that the township has hired to do many of the repaving in Hamilton are using the inlet bags. The Hamilton DPW is not. There is a third company, Crisdel, a union company, that the township has hired to repave the roads has state inspectors that oversee their work. This ensures they are using the bags and ensure that no toxics go into the basins. The road Crisdel they did in Cornell Heights did not have any storm drains on it. So one has to ponder, why is the Hamilton DPW taking the strategy they are taking to pave the roads? Who is giving them this direction? Who will hold them accountable for their actions? The residents will. An offical complaint to the DEP has been submitted against the township DPW for their actions. The complaint is under investigation.
During this month’s Hamilton Council meeting a resident brought this issue up, she had sent an email to council, the Mayor and the business administrator. The Mayor has never responded and the Business Administrator at the meeting said, “He would look into it.” Residents are not holding their breath for a resolution.
Why is no one checking the work that DPW is doing? Why would no one be inspecting this work and using the mandated storm drain inlet bags?
Hamilton DPW will and is doing the resurfacing work on Basin Road in Cornell Heights as well. The teams are working from 9am to 12 noon and then they are done for the day. The neighbors are seeing this lack of work ethic and are furious. They are furious that the drains are being deliberately clogged by Hamilton DPW and this will flood the surrounding area. This is not how they want to see their tax dollars spent.
When it rains, water washes over roofs, streets, driveways, sidewalks, parking lots, and land surfaces. Along the way, it can pick up a variety of pollutants, such as oil, pesticides, metals, chemicals, and soil. This polluted stormwater drains into the storm system that eventually discharges into our rivers and streams. The pollutants can endanger the water quality of our waterways, making them unhealthy for people, fish, and wildlife. No matter where you live, there's a drainage system in place to help rainwater find its way to the river.
Inlet protection devices intercept and/or filter sediment before it can be transported from a site into the storm drain system and discharged into a lake, river, stream, wetland, or other waterbody. These devices also keep sediment from filling or clogging storm drain pipes, ditches, and downgradient sediment traps or ponds. Inlet protection may also include placement of a barrier to create a bypass of an inlet transferring flow downstream to a sediment trap, basin, or other inlet discharging to a non-critical area.
The Construction Stormwater General Permit states: Permittees must establish sediment control BMPS on all downgradient perimeters of the site and downgradient areas of the site that drain to any surface water, including curb and gutter systems. Permittees must locate sediment control practices upgradient of any buffer zones. Permittees must install sediment control practices before any upgradient land-disturbing activities begin and must keep the sediment control practices in place until they establish permanent cover.
The federal Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, and Endangered Species Act direct the City to improve stormwater quality and protect watersheds, rivers, streams, and drinking water resources. With the exception of storm drains maintenance, the overall management of the stormwater system is the responsibility of the Bureau of Environmental Services (BES). BES coordinates the citywide response to the federal stormwater permit that requires the town to reduce stormwater pollution, and oversees programs that respond to water quality requirements and promote private stormwater management efforts.
When it rains, storm water runs off roadways, driveways, and construction sites into grates which carry the storm water to rivers, streams, lakes and other waterways. Unlike sewage, storm water is not treated so as it flows into grates it carries with it sediment, trash, oils, chemicals and other elements that are harmful to our water resources. Why not do your part and help protect our water resources?
The township has laws against these kinds of things from happening. (see below) the residents want to know why the township directors and officials continue to act as if they are above the law.
Any person who erects, constructs, alters, repairs, converts, maintains or uses any building, structure or land in violation of this chapter shall be subject to penalties prescribed by the Township with consideration to this chapter, including any penalties contained in the Municipal Land Use Law, N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.; the Stormwater Management Rules, N.J.A.C. 7:8-1.1 et seq.; and/or Chapter 1, General Provisions, § 1-2, Violations; penalties, of the Code of the Township of Hamilton.