Lawmakers: Improvements to Reclamation Authority will help prevent flooding in future storms

The Two Rivers Water Reclamation Authority in Monmouth Beach will be getting $20 million in federal funds.

Matt Trapani

Jun 5, 2023, 9:21 PM

Updated 376 days ago


Gov. Phil Murphy unveiled a new project Monday morning that he says will help protect New Jersey against future flooding due to climate change.
The governor was joined by Sen. Bob Menendez and Rep. Frank Pallone in Monmouth Beach to announce an overhaul of a water treatment system – an overhaul they say has been needed since Superstorm Sandy. They say that this project is a commitment to making sure Monmouth County’s wastewater is cleaned effectively on its way to being disposed of.
The Two Rivers Water Reclamation Authority in Monmouth Beach will be getting $20 million in federal funds.
“We know with climate change it's no longer a question of if, but when that next superstorm will hit,” Murphy said.
The Reclamation Authority has over 200 miles of sewer pipe and 19 pumping stations serving 130,000 people from Rumson to Tinton Falls.
“Any toilet flushed in those areas or shower taken, we take that water and get it clean,” said executive director Michael Gianforte.
The building was damaged during Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
“The storm surge cracked our 25-feet deep, two-feet thick concrete wall,” Gianforte said.
The project will include moving the main pumping station out of the flood zone.
“If either the pump station flooded again, or if the pipe broke, the damage to the 12 communities and two military bases that this authority serves would be overwhelming,” said Murphy.
A 3,000-foot underground sewer line that was also damaged in the storm will be replaced.
“We have to make sure our sewer plants are upgraded so we don't have overflows, so we don't have breaks, so we don't have sewage going out into our rivers and streams,” said Pallone.
Officials say resiliency projects like this one are critical due to the potential of stronger storms in the future due to climate change.
“I know infrastructure like sewer lines and water pumps may not seem exciting, but this is a big deal,” the governor said.
Following the event, Murphy said that he remains committed to allowing higher tax rates on Jersey businesses to come down this year. He said of the agreement "a deal is a deal" despite disagreement from fellow Democrats.

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