The residents along Hudson Avenue at Crescent Cove will soon join most of the rest of Hopatcong Borough when the houses are connected to the borough’s sewers.
Hopatcong Mayor Mike Francis told the Lake Hopatcong Commission Monday, March 8, that the sewer project is moving along.
Francis was committed to joining the 38 lakefront homes and two on the other side of the street to the sewers even before the accident that ended the lake’s weed harvesting program last year. After the harvester capsized in the shallow cove, the mayor became even more serious about controlling weeds without harvesting.
Francis implemented an aeration system which helped considerably. The state Department of Environmental Protection turned down his request for biological remediation in the cove and for employing sterile grass carp to eat the leafy weeds.
Sewers will keep septic systems, some of which are quite old, from allowing nutrients into the lake to fertilize the weeds.
“We’re laying line,” Francis said, noting the workers hit rock on the hill as they expected. Trying for 300 feet a day, they have been making about 200, he added, which is very good for the terrain.
The borough is preparing an information sheet for the hookups so each homeowner knows exactly what the cost will be. The fee per hookup is about $6,000 and the borough will assess $7,000. The borough is providing the grinder pumps to ensure consistency. The total is far less than the cost of replacing failing septic systems.
Francis said at least two of the newer systems on lakefront properties cost in excess of $50,000 because there is no property for an actual septic so pumps were installed to a treatment area. The cost to maintain these systems is about $5,000 a year, he added.
The mayor estimates an increase in property value of between $20,000 and $30,000.
In the case of the newer systems, if the health department certifies they are working efficiently, the borough may give property owners a few years to hook into the sewers, Francis said.
Most homeowners are happy about the sewer hookups, he said.
Two other projects are planned to be funded with other grant money, Lubnow said.
A stretch of the Musconetcong River between Lake Hopatcong and Lake Musconetcong also needs bank remediation and Roxbury Township is applying for a Highlands Council grant. Because the river between the lakes also touches Netcong and Hopatcong, those municipalities as well as Morris and Sussex counties and the state must be on board with the project, Lubnow said.
Another grant will be needed for a rain garden project in Hopatcong which will be facilitated by Rutgers University.