Projects & Programs - Municipal Stormwater Management

Hamilton Township Hydrologic Evaluation and Water Resources Recommendations for Planning and Implementation

In June 2011, the Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE) Water Resources Program partnered with Hamilton Township (Mercer County) to evaluate watershed and stormwater management issues and to develop recommendations for improving and protecting water resources in the community.  The partners are working together to complete a Township-wide evaluation of water resource management needs and to set forth priorities and recommendations for actions needed to address hydrologic issues. 

The recommended actions will support a series of goals established for Hamilton Township in its ongoing efforts to address water resources.  These goals include:

  • Engage the community in water resource protection
  • Manage water quality
  • Minimize localized flooding
  • Implement Phase II stormwater controls
  • Improve stormwater facility maintenance

PROJECT GOALS

Engage the community in water resource protection

Water resources management is an ongoing process that must be inclusive to achieve real, measurable improvements in environmental quality.  Through education and increased awareness of key issues, township residents and active local organizations can become active participants when implementing strategies to minimize nonpoint source pollution.  These efforts help the entire community become invested in the future sustainability of local water resources. 

Manage water quality 

Many of the efforts to improve water quality of local streams, rivers, and ponds begin with knowledge on the status and trends of water quality.  The strategies necessary to maintain good water quality and improve degraded waters require data on the current condition of waterways so that realistic water management targets can be set.  These targets will dictate the implementation projects developed by technical partners to improve water quality.

Minimize localized flooding

Many municipalities across the country have recognizable flood-prone areas, usually along a river, stream, or other large body of water.  These areas are categorized as Special Flood Hazard Areas and are under the jurisdiction of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  However, localized flooding problems outside these regulated jurisdictions resulting from poor drainage, inadequate stormwater controls, clogged culverts, obstructed drainage pipes, or sewer backups plague many communities. 
These localized events can be more frequent and, at times, more destructive, than less frequent larger events.  Systems need to be in place to locate these localized flood areas, determine their extent, and develop solutions to address these problem events.

Implement Phase II stormwater controls

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Municipal Stormwater Permitting Program addresses pollutants entering our waters from certain storm drainage systems owned or operated by local, county, state, interstate, or federal government agencies.  These systems are called “municipal separate storm sewer systems” (MS4s) and are regulated by a General New Jersey Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit issued to municipalities throughout the state.  This permit focuses on requiring the municipalities to clean and maintain their MS4s and pass ordinances that will limit water pollution at its source.

Improve stormwater facility maintenance

Water, stormwater, and sewer infrastructure systems in many communities are reaching the end of their functional life.  Opportunities exist to reduce costs for maintaining and replacing this aging infrastructure using new techniques and technologies, better preparing our communities for a sustainable future.  Green infrastructure planning and design approaches help communities reduce demands on existing infrastructure, extend its functional life where possible, and provide cost-effective and sustainable solutions that conserve and protect water resources while improving the quality of life of a township’s citizens.

PROJECT TASKS

Task 1: Township Hydrologic Evaluation
The purpose of this evaluation is to synthesize and report on available data related to hydrology and stormwater management with respect to Hamilton Township and its authority within the State.  The hydrologic plan document compiles a thorough inventory of existing information and data related to water resource management, planning, policy, and actions in Hamilton Township.  The inventory includes:

  • Infrastructure - storm sewer system and outfall mapping, detention basin and stormwater management facility information
  • Plans - municipal stormwater plans, natural resource inventory/mapping, watershed-based plans, and geographic information system (GIS) data
  • Policies - local ordinances, master plan and statutes; state regulations and standards; and federal guidance

The Water Resources Program has completed the evaluation outlining the Township’s current water resources management issues and hydrologic functions.  The plan includes detailed GIS mapping and a summary of water resource related issues.  Finally, the evaluation outlines opportunities for improving policy and management practices to protect hydrologic function, improve water quality, and sustain freshwater resources in the Township. 

Hamilton Township (Mercer County) - Hydrology Report, September 9, 2011

Task 2: Watershed and Stormwater Management Recommendations
The purpose of this task is to outline strategies for Hamilton Township to implement throughout the community to improve water quality, involve both residents and decision-makers in protecting the environment, increase Hamilton’s compliance with current stormwater regulations, and sustain high quality water resources.  The recommended projects and strategies are a result of the information gathered, synthesized, and presented in the hydrologic evaluation.

Projects that have been identified are expected to have the most effective impact on water resources in Hamilton Township and benefit local water quality beyond the minimum mandated by regulatory agencies.

Specific actions have been identified that will help Hamilton Township achieve and sustain a long-term water resources management program.  The action items are outlined in detail and potential project partners, resources, and funding sources have been identified.  With a long-term commitment from the community, efforts should be given to partner with local, state, and federal agencies and programs to help the township in implementing this ambitious program.

Hamilton Township (Mercer County) - Watershed and Stormwater Management Implementation Plan, February 14, 2012

Task 3: Public Presentations

  • Upon Township official review, comment, and approval of the Evaluation and Implementation Plan documents, Water Resources Program staff will present findings at a public forum in Hamilton Township.  All materials developed through this project will be provided to the Township in digital PDF format suitable for posting on the Township’s website and distributing to local residents. 

Hamilton Township Hydrologic Evaluation and Water Resources Recommendations for Planning and Implementation (public presentation), January 26, 2012

 

  • The Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program completed a preliminary evaluation of the stormwater drainage issues on Goeke Drive in Hamilton Township.  At the request of the Township, we prepared and presented preliminary findings and recommendations to residents on Goeke Drive that have been experiencing localized flooding for many years. 

Goeke Drive, Hamilton Township Drainage Summary (public presentation),
October 16, 2014

 

PROJECT CONTACTS

Christopher C. Obropta, Ph.D., P.E.
Associate Extension Specialist
Rutgers Cooperative Extension
Water Resources Program
14 College Farm Road
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
obropta@envsci.rutgers.edu
848-932-5711

Jeremiah Bergstrom
Senior Research Project Manager
Rutgers Cooperative Extension
Water Resources Program
14 College Farm Road
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
jbergstrom@envsci.rutgers.edu
848-932-5708



Water Resources Program  at Rutgers NJAES