SAYREVILLE – The Middlesex County Utilities Authority (MCUA) has received a $1 million federal grant to assist with repairs to a sewage treatment plant in Sayreville that was damaged during superstorm Sandy.
The $1 million in funding, provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through an aid package, was announced by Congressman Frank Pallone (D-Middlesex, Monmouth) in a press release on July 12.
The MCUA, which manages wastewater and solid waste services in the county, has received a total of $77.87 million to repair the damaged Sayreville pump station, provide bypass pumping for the Sayreville sewage treatment plant and install and operate a surge diversion facility to minimize surges to the pump station in the event of a future storm, according to the press release.
“These grants help to lessen the financial hit that our local governments still face as communities continue to recover from Sandy,” Pallone said in the statement. “While we have come a long way, there is still work to do to improve our public infrastructure so it is stronger and can withstand future storms. I am grateful that FEMA recognizes the importance of these ongoing efforts in New Jersey.”
After Sandy struck New Jersey in 2012, the Sayreville pump station was initially rendered inoperable due being flooded with saltwater and silt, according to an MCUA report from that year. As a result, a bypass operation was put into place.
By 2013, according to the MCUA, the Sayreville station was operational and the bypass system was dismantled.
According to Joseph Cryan, executive director of the MCUA, the authority serves approximately 800,000 people in Middlesex County, as well as communities in Somerset and Union counties. The Sayreville pump station serves between 100-110 million gallons each day and has a capacity for 140 million gallons a day.
“We take the product that we work with, which is sludge,” Cryan said. “We screen it, we treat it, we clarify it, we thicken it, we dry it and then we ship it out. The settling tanks is what we end up putting out into the [Raritan] Bay and you’ll see that it’s as clear as water as you would see any place else.”