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Montgomery receives NJDEP grant to replace outdated detention basins

Outside view of the new municipal center in Montgomery Township. Photo by Andrew Harrison

A state grant from the New Jersey Department of Enviornmental Protection (NJDEP) will help Montgomery Township replace outdated, municipally owned, detention basins in the township to aid in reducing flooding and improve water quality.

The grant received totals $431,120 and would assist with stormwater management in the township by converting two existing detention basins to bioretention basins.

The township would remove concrete low-flow channels and replace turf grass with native meadow vegetation.

“One of the things Montgomery has been working on is analyzing all the detention basins we have with many owned by the municipality, county, or private homeowners’ association,” said Township Administrator Lori Savron in a June report to the Township Committee and public, noting some of the basins are “quite old” in terms of “technology, water quality and water quantity.”

“Quantity being what helps retain water,” she said.

Initially, Montgomery was able to hire a consultant from Princeton Hydro, a New Jersey ecological and engineering firm in Ringoes, through a Sustainable Jersey grant. The consultant worked with township staff to develop a report to identify which older detention basins would be the best two convert to bioretention basins.

“Out of that report, Lauren Wasilauski, our open space and stewardship director, and our township engineer came together and wrote this grant to DEP,” Savron said, noting the township was one of 97 applicants to apply and one of 31 that received the DEP grant.

The grant received by NJDEP is part of $7 million in grants awarded by Gov. Phil Murphy’s Administration through the state agency to modernize and enhance stormwater management practices and infrastructure as the state continues to be impacted by climate change and weather-related events such Tropical Storms Ida and Henri.

Projects were awarded funding and announced in June from the state for stormwater improvements and mitigation efforts [that would] lessen flooding in local communities and improve the health of waterways, according to NJDEP.

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