NSU announces the completion of the Plumsted Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility in Ocean County, New Jersey. This state-of-the-art facility was engineered by NSU to meet one of the most stringent permit limits ever issued in the state. Designed to treat up to 330,000 gallons per day this technologically advanced facility produces water that is cleaner than the Crosswicks Creek, to which it discharges. NSU employs over 130 water professionals and provides Design/Build/Operate services for water treatment and reuse.
Natural Systems Utilities News
NSU announces that is now under contract to deliver a turn-key wastewater management solution at the new Legacy at Mansfield Meadows residential development in Warren County, New Jersey. The system features tertiary treatment and recharge to groundwater of all sanitary wastewater generated on-site. NSU employs over 130 water professionals and provides Design/Build/Operate services for water treatment and reuse.
CASTLE PROGRESS POST!
The Project Management Team at Castle & Associates, LLC – Join us! continues its progress on the new campus wastewater treatment facility for Solebury School.
The project features a membrane bioreactor (MBR) treatment facility that will produce potable effluent. Following treatment, effluent is moved via a force main to a drip irrigation field. Castle worked with Solebury School and the project team of Natural Systems Utilities and Langan Engineering & Environmental Services to identify an area on campus that would satisfy the project’s hydrogeologic requirements while not compromising buildable land on campus.
Yesterday, Castle team members joined the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection on-site for a preinstallation inspection and we couldn’t be happier with the team’s progress in the field.
Have a project that could use a hand? If so, please contact Vince D’Ambrosio to learn how Castle can support your success!
#WastewaterTreatment #IndependentSchools #ProjectManagement #OverTheHillsAndThroughTheWoods #TeamWithCastle
Courtesy of Castle & Associates, LLC https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6965628518642712577/?actorCompanyId=845574
NSU announces that is under contract to deliver a turn-key wastewater management solution at the new Hillandale residential development in Mendham County, New Jersey. The system features tertiary treatment and recharge to groundwater of all sanitary wastewater generated on-site. NSU employs over 130 water professionals and provides Design/Build/Operate services for water treatment and reuse.
This weekend was all about awareness. Rivers are beautiful if you keep them that way. This weekend I teamed up with Central Jersey Stream Team to clean up the Raritan South branch. 10 people 2miles stretch 22 tires and a heap load of trash. You will be amazed to see what we see in the river and this is all from dumping and some from natural causes.
This was my 5th cleanup with the crew and I felt so good doing it. People should be more aware to not dump stuff in the river. I could have kept going but no one will realize until they do a cleanup for themselves.
Big thank you to Jens Riedel for introducing me to this.
Visit the page at www. cjstreamsteam.org
Come on a cleanup and see for yourself what nature has become because we are reluctant to change.
#nature #cleanup #cleanrivers #donotdump #awareness #environment #betterfuture #teameffort #change
Courtesy of Prantik Chakraborty
Following the Facts About Sparta’s ‘Mega Warehouse’
What’s on the Record Regarding the Potential 880,000 Square Foot Project
By JENNIFER DERICKS
Published: July 3, 2022 at 2:23 AM
SPARTA, NJ- While there is much that is still hidden, here is what is known about the 880,000 square foot multi-modal facility proposed for 33 Demarest Road from the testimony and comments made on the record by officials and the applicant, meeting minutes and documents obtained through OPRA.
Attorney for applicant Diamond Chip Realty, Steven Gauin confirmed a statement made to TAPinto Sparta by developer Jim Ford; the developer requested the changes made to the Sparta Land Use in Ordinance 21-01 to increase allowable height and impervious coverage. This change allowed for the mega-warehouse to be a “conforming” application, limiting options for the residents who oppose the project.
“That was the reason for adopting the ordinance amendment to the ED zone, to permit this project and we are fully conforming with this project,” Gauin said during the hearing before the planning board on April 6.
Sparta’s elected and appointed officials are unpaid or marginally compensated residents. They rely on a bevy of professionals for advice and counsel as they navigate unfamiliar subject matter, some with significant legal implications, such as Ordinance 21-01 and Diamond Chip’s subsequent application to the planning board.
Sparta Township’s professionals include township attorney Tom Ryan, township engineer Stan Puszcz, Planning Board attorney Tom Collins, Planning Board engineer David Simmons, Township planner Katherine Sarmad and Zoning Board attorney Glenn Keintz and acting township manager Neil Spidaletto.
In advising their client – Sparta Township Council, Planning Board and Zoning Board members, the attorneys are required to adhere to Rules of Professional Conduct. While all rules of conduct are always relevant, the specific RPC related to the recent and ongoing hearings include: “NJ RPC 1.4 Communication (b) A lawyer shall keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter and promptly comply with reasonable request for information and (c) A lawyer shall explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation.”
From the beginning or nearly the beginning
Recommendations made by Harbor Consultants in the 2019 Master Plan Review included removing impediments to development of rail dependent businesses in the economic development zone. Those recommendations were part of the report submitted to the township in February 2020 according to Sparta Planning Board minutes and were the basis for the amendment to land use ordinances according to the July 15, 2020 planning board minutes.
March 3, 2020, prior to any public discussion of changing the land use ordinance, Jens Riedel Natural Systems Utilities managing engineer for Diamond Chip Realty, LLC held a pre-application meeting about elements of the proposed project at 33 Demarest Drive. As of publication only Keintz responded to TAPinto Sparta’s request to determine who attended this meeting. Keintz said he had meetings in Sparta around that time but not about the Diamond Chip Realty application. Collins, Simmons, Puszcz, Sparta Planning and Zoning administrator Diana Katzenstein all declined to comment before publication.
Over the course of three Zoom meetings, the planning board members discussed the proposed ordinance changes that ended up in Ordinance 21-01.
The minutes of the July 15, 2020 planning board meeting reflect Collins and “the township” reviewed existing ordinances and drafted an “amendment to the ED and PDRM-1 Zones.” There was no explanation in the minutes as to who “the township” is and township planner Sarmad is not named as having helped prepare the draft ordinance.
The July 15, 2020 minutes specifically reference “the additional height necessary for the vertical stacking of products which would exceed the 35-foot requirement” proposing an increase to 56 feet. Further the minutes show the recommendation for the “existing lot coverage requirement of 40%” to be “increased to 65%” just as requested by the developer, according to statements made by Ford to TAPinto Sparta.
Planning board member comments include “this would be good for economic growth” by Zacsek but he was concerned about limitations to hazardous materials. Puszcz said all protections currently in place would remain.
Mayor Jerry Murphy asked for a map that identified all rail sidings and lots that would be included in the new zone.
Minutes of the September 2, 2020 planning board meeting again have Collins and Puszcz discussing the proposed ordinance changes for “rail dependent uses.” The map requested at the July meeting was produced. Puszcz said “the benefits are to reduce truck traffic on Houses Corner Road specifically by using the railroad.”
Planning Board minutes of September 2, 2020 reflect several board members asking “how many parcels could take advantage of the ordinance amendment” as well as impact to surrounding residences.
Puszcz said, “Only about four or five properties that can meet the criteria including lot size with a few on Houses Corner Road and two or three on the Limecrest side of Route 15.” There was no discussion of the number of lots that qualified on Aaron Way, though that road was included in the July 2020 discussion of the draft ordinance.
Collins reiterated the ordinance will “raise the height and allow outside storage which will require site plans to modernize some of the pre-existing uses in the area.”
Councilwoman Quinn said they should be “mindful of the homes nearby” and asked for “controls in the ordinance to prevent storage of cars.”
Board member Healy asked “how the 56 foot height was considered.” Puszcz explained he “researched several warehouse companies with rail uses and this is the industry standard throughout the Midwest for storage height.”
On October 27, 2020- prior to planning board’s vote on the proposed ordinance and November 17, 2020 email between Kimley-Horn engineer Tony Diggan on behalf of Diamond Chip Realty and Planning Board Engineer Dave Simmons show Diamond Chip Realty was interested in developing the site of Sparta Redi-Mix. “Environmental specialist” for the developer Mike Greene, in his testimony at the June 1, 2022 planning board meeting said he had been to the site of the proposed project “three or four times…since it was started in 2020.”
Puszcz again said “it is beneficial to take advantage of the freight rail lines which are a resource to the township and will reduce traffic on the roads.”
Collins, according to the minutes, answered questions about accessory uses, including solar energy and battery storage being allowed in specific locations. He also said, “this is an example of good planning for the future.”
The board unanimously approved the draft ordinance. Planning board member John Kollar and Quinn were not at that meeting. Kollar had also missed the September and July discussions of the ordinance changes.
21-01 comes to the township council for a vote
At the February 9, 2021 meeting the ordinance was introduced. TAPinto Sparta asked questions about the ordinance including “what had been changed” with this amendment that was not in the existing ordinance. In response to the questions Puszcz said there “were no changes in use so all uses would remain unchanged.” Other questions asked by TAPinto Sparta included; what was the reason for the ordinance and was it to bring existing properties into compliance. The answer was to bring the zone to industry standards for rail dependent use and no property was not at that time operating outside of compliance.
The hearing of Ordinance 21-01 was held at the February 23, 2021. Both meetings with this ordinance on the agenda were hybrid; held in person and on Zoom, though audio only for the public. Collins attended via Zoom, Puszcz was in person.
“This is the kind of thing we talk about in the Economic Development Committee all the time; little changes that can be made that are just common sense, that will help the business community and the taxpayer,” Councilman and Planning Board member Josh Hertzberg commented.
Quinn said the planning board “wants to support an asset that the town has as far as economic development.”
In the hearing Chiariello asked about potential impact of the changes including truck traffic in the area if the change was made.
“I think scale matters and there is no statement as to the scope of this. Does adding a warehouse to this area add two trucks a day or 200 trucks a day,” Chiariello said asking about the addition of transshipment facilities, warehouses, wholesale distribution centers as permitted uses. “The scale of the operation is not addressed in this ordinance…adding a warehouse attached to a rail line could add two trucks a day on Route 15 …or 200 trucks a day.”
Puszcz explained land use ordinances are designed to be scalable; the size of the facility depends on the size of the property based on what is allowable in zone according to the ordinance.
“All of the land use ordinances within the comprehensive land use code is by definition a scalable ordinance with bulk standards,” Puszcz said. “It speaks to the property itself and has various quantitative requirements that would scale the operation relative to the site…As to the number of trucks, that has everything to do with what the proposed operation is and the land use ordinance doesn’t regulate traffic. Traffic becomes an issue at each application. And if a traffic study is conducted, it would be through that study and through the particulars of that application that traffic would be dealt with.
Collins was at the meeting but he did not say anything, as is reflected in the audio recording and the minutes of the meeting. He did not clarify for Chiariello and the council members that the planning board would not be able to vote against any project simply because of traffic once the new zoning rules were adopted with Ordinance 21-01’s approval. This legal precedent was established in 1984 in Dunkin’ Donuts v Township of North Brunswick.
Chiariello asked why rail dependent use facilities would get additional impervious coverage from 40 to 65%.
Puszcz clarified this is only available to small number of properties along the rail line. “But this is simply the recognition that we want to shift the intensity of use adjacent to the rail line and not allow that intensity to move away from the rail line…If the proposed building infrastructure is to be developed within 500 feet of the rail line, really limiting the number of properties and limiting how the properties can be developed in that context, by keeping a short distance between the rail line and the operation.”
Chiariello said he had concerns about the quality of life for people who have to drive on Route 15 if this ordinance is passed as well as concerns about continued erosions Highlands Planning Area protections for the Germany Flats Aquifer.
The township council members approved the ordinance 4-1 with Chiariello voting no.
Things move quickly after the ordinance approval
In May 2021 Puszcz communicates with Collins, Simmons, Katzenstein, Diggan, Gauin and Ford to set up another pre-application meeting, reviewing plans dated April 2021, a few weeks after Ordinance 21-01 was approved.
In May 2021 Riedel submits a 34 page “Site Specific Water Quality Management Plan Amendment for Diamond Chip Realty, LLC Sparta Warehouse.”
On May 25 and June 26, 2021 Riedel emails the township clerk Kate Chambers to request a resolution supporting a proposed Water Quality Management Plan.
On June 30, 2021 a copy of the requested resolution is sent to Collins. Collins then forwards to Puszcz. Puszcz tells Chambers “This is not a planning/zoning matter. It should be handled by my office” and he will discuss “with Neil” [Spidaletto].
On August 25, 2021 there is another meeting with Collins, Simmons, Sarmad, Katzentein and Sparta engineer Dave Clark and Diggan for the developer, according to OPRA’d documents.
On October 26, 2021 The township council votes on the resolution requested by Riedel, without any discussion from council members. TAPinto Sparta did ask about potential traffic from the proposed 880,000 square foot warehouse and office when that resolution was unanimously approved. Puszcz said the developer was working on doing a traffic study but did not recognize they are required to do so. When the application was submitted in November it contained a traffic study dated July 2021.
On November 15, 2021 Diamond Chip Realty LLC applied for preliminary site plan approval. The application was sent to Planning and Zoning Administrator Diana Katzenstien though planning board and township council members Josh Hertzberg and Quinn said they did not know about the proposed multimodal facility until they “read about it on Facebook,” in 2022.
TAPinto Sparta reviewed the plans in January 2022 and the first article on the topic was published on January 20, 2022.
The next planning board meeting is scheduled for July 6, 2022. The Diamond Chip Realty, LLC hearing is on the agenda.
The next township council meeting is scheduled for July 12, 2022. The agenda for that meeting is not yet posted.
Other articles on the topic
Sparta Township Council Refuses Member, Public’s Request to Rescind Ordinance that Led to 880,000 Square Foot ‘Warehouse’ Application
Sparta’s Environmental Commission Requests Township Council Hire Environmental Experts for ‘Warehouse’ Application
Developer Questioned About Influencing Ordinance Change at Sparta Planning Board
Sparta Zoning Board Declines to Hear Community’s Question About 880,000 Square Foot Project
Sparta’s Professionals Worked with Warehouse Developer for Months Before Application
Questions for Sparta Zoning Board About Application Challenging 880,000 Square Foot Warehouse Project
Sparta Township Council Meeting Dominated by Warehouse Talk – Again
An Interview with Proposed Sparta Warehouse Developers
Local Attorneys File with Sparta Zoning Board in Opposition to Warehouse Project
Sparta Planning Board Holds First Hearing on 880,000 Square Foot Warehouse
Sparta Residents Raise Concerns About 880,000 Square Foot Warehouse in Advance of Planning Board Meeting
Sparta Township Could Get 880,000 Square Foot Warehouse Complex
Courtesy of TapIntoSparta
Colorado River #water managers are facing a monumental task – to commit to an unprecedented amount of #conservation before an August deadline.
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There is some good news: Innovative solutions that can significantly increase #waterefficiency are ready to go now. For example, Metron Farnier – Smart Water Meters, though its one-minute analytics, is helping communities monitor, understand, and save water. Soli Organic is changing the game when it comes to growing #food, using more than 90% less water to cultivate crops. Over 90% of Natural Systems Utilities‘ facilities directly #reuse treated water for beneficial purposes.
XPV Water Partners invests in companies that we know can make a meaningful difference when it comes to the world’s water crisis.
By DANIELLE DEGEROLAMO
Published May 17, 2022 at 10:00 AM
PHILLIPSBURG, NJ – The Phillipsburg Sewer Utility will be discussing a full agenda this evening. The meeting will be held at the Phillipsburg Housing Authority Community Building at 6:00 PM, before the regular meeting at 7:00 PM.
The sewer agenda includes a regular report on district meters, which includes the sewer lines outside of Phillipsburg proper, as well as various sewer system projects, the wastewater treatment plant projects and miscellaneous items such as the Maintenance Repair Agreement Procedures (MRA) and an update on the odor control system.
Of significant importance, is the anticipated discussion of the Riverside Way Pump Station and NJIB funding. The Riverside Way Pump Station has been a critical project to address from several years as one station in need of updates. This station impacts the projects near the riverfront, which have been hot topics for any redevelopment along the river. The cost is to be determined, but a major capital expense.
The agenda also notes under legal updates there will be an update on the sending district contracts. As Phillipsburg has modified the sewer rates, adjusted rates for commercial and residential rates and seeks to introduce a fats, oils and grease ordinance, the sending district participation is anticipated as questions arise about rates. The Sewer Utility has representatives from all municipalities that use the system. Alpha Mayor, Craig Dunwell is often in attendance to represent the Alpha Borough.
The sewer utility is managed and controlled by the Town Council of the Town of Phillipsburg, under the Business Administrator. It is a publicly owned municipal sewer utility and is a separate entity having its own borrowing capacity, separate operating accounts and its own separate property.
Courtesey of TAPintoPhillipsburg
Water reuse is the process of using water that has already been used for one purpose to be used for another. This can include using wastewater from homes, businesses, and industries to water parks, golf courses, farms, or other parts of the environment.
The benefits of this process are many-fold. It reduces our reliance on freshwater sources, which are dwindling in many parts of the world. It also reduces the amount of wastewater that needs to be treated before it can be released back into natural ecosystems. In addition, it saves energy and costs when compared with freshwater sources such as desalination plants or deep wells where you need to pump a lot more energy and money into getting those resources out of the ground and into your home or business.
Courtesy of XPV Water Partners: https://xpvwaterpartners.com/insights/news/2022/03/16/nsu-inspiring-the-next-generation-of-professionals-to-be-stewards-of-sustainable-water-resources
For Zach Gallagher, President and COO of industry-leading company Natural Systems Utilities, supporting and ensuring the growth of a strong water sector and a healthy environment is about sharing knowledge and experience.
An accomplished environmental engineer, Gallagher is committed to educating the next generation of aspiring environmental engineers and landscape architects about sustainable water resources and the importance of keeping water local. He annually teaches a pair of courses at Rutgers University and Columbia University. He also delivers guest lectures at Cornell University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
In teaching these courses, Gallagher uses real-world examples, drawing from NSU’s extensive experience delivering innovative projects and technologies.
As the largest provider of onsite water treatment and reuse and natural treatment systems in the United States, NSU operates more than 400 onsite treatment systems across North America. The company services businesses, campuses, resorts, industrial parks, shopping complexes, high-density residential buildings and developments – often in areas where demand for water exceeds the sustainable supply.
“The world’s limited supplies of freshwater are being depleted, and climate change is intensifying the problem,” says Gallagher. By returning treated water back to its original source, reducing overall reliance on regional watersheds, and “keeping water local” using innovative onsite treatment solutions, he says, NSU is helping communities achieve and maintain the water balance that ensures sustainable local water resources will be available for future generations.
The systems we use to manage water also require balance, Gallagher says. “Utility managers are grappling with shrinking capital budgets, aging infrastructure, and increasing risk around climate change impacts, especially when it comes to traditional, large-scale wastewater treatment networks. They need new solutions to manage these growing challenges.”
By offering decentralized or onsite solutions, NSU is helping utilities address their risks. “These systems can help them offset expensive capital improvements and provide more system resiliency and reliability to their backbone infrastructure.”
Achieving environmental targets
Innovative onsite systems are also helping NSU’s partners achieve significant environmental targets, and Gallagher shares these examples with his classes.
Recently, for example, NSU worked with Microsoft to install an integrated water management system at the award-winning Silicon Valley Campus, providing workspace for up to 3,000 employees.
The system, which recycles and reuses 100% of the non-potable water on campus, is part of what helped the site achieve the Living Building Challenge’s Net Zero Water certification, as well as qualify for LEED Platinum and other prestigious sustainability certifications.
The system combines an onsite wastewater treatment plant with rainwater harvesting, opening up 25% more campus square footage and three times more campus landscaped area while cutting current potable water usage in half.
Thinking innovatively about sustainable water use has put NSU at the leading edge of the treatment industry. “As a company, we’re focused on reducing overall water footprint and reducing wastewater discharge. As a result, our systems meet the requirements of several industry certifications,” Gallagher says. “These credits could mean the difference between LEED Gold or Platinum facility certification, which is a huge benefit for companies who are committed to setting and achieving environmental targets.”
Inspiring young leaders
Over the past 15 years, thousands of students have attended Gallagher’s classes and lectures, but the real-world experience extends beyond the classroom. Students are often welcomed on tours of NSU facilities, where they witness wastewater treatment in process and see the result: crystal-clear water that can be used for non-potable applications, or that can be used to recharge aquifers.
“For many students, that’s the moment of clarity. They begin to understand that wastewater is a resource,” Gallagher says. “I like to believe that this experience inspires these talented individuals as they design and bring new projects to life.”
Educating young leaders and “passing forward” critical industry knowledge is vital to preserving local water resources for future generations, Gallagher says. In fact, he urges his industry peers and colleagues to consider it their professional duty.
“Whatever we’ve learned in our lifetime – including mistakes that should not be repeated – needs to be passed along so future generations can enjoy safe and livable communities.”