Dingman is worrying because everything runs downhill

| 28 Sep 2011 | 03:00

DINGMAN TOWNSHIP - Township officials say storm water elimination is a growing concern as Dingman’s once rural, second-home subdivisions mature into suburban communities. Township Solicitor, John Klemeyer reported on Oct. 18 that many second-home communities are nearly built out. Impervious surfaces on the lots and the number of homes far exceed the design capabilities of the storm water systems that were designed 10 to 15 years ago. “It is a complaint in virtually every property owner’s association that I represent. Although it is an internal problem within the community it is something we need to address so that new homes being built don’t adversely affect our lakes and streams,” he told the supervisors. Chris Wood, Zoning and Sewage Enforcement Officer, said, “In new communities being built it seems they are designing ditches based on rainwater measurements that go back to the 80’s when there was more drought so maybe ditch sizing has to be brought up to the standards of the rainfall cycles that we have today. In older communities they seem to be just putting in ditches as needed and having them empty onto unused lots in the sub-division in order to get rid of the water but not really solving the problem.” Klemeyer said that, “Every new house being built in a sub-division just makes the old problem worse. They are not slowing down the water as houses being built today are 3 to 4 times as large as they once were. They take up more land, have 2 and 3 car garages, and larger blacktop driveways that allow the water to move along at a fast pace.” By contrast, the Preserve at Milford Hills a new sub-division located in the Sawkill Watershed, has on site storm water retention systems in place for this purpose, said Karen Kleist, township Secretary/Treasurer. Klemeyer charged further that many homes are being built on land that may is partially cut out of a hill. The water that runs down this hill now may end up as a problem for the homeowner especially with heavy rains and melting snows. “Although it is not our responsibility to be concerned about this issue maybe we should disclose to homeowners that we don’t monitor this and they should be sure their builder have addressed this issue. Our responsibility is to insure that the builder is doing the construction work properly and up to code.”