The Authority was created on November 4, 1985, by an ordinance of the Township of Old Bridge. The Authority resulted from the consolidation of The Old Bridge Township Sewerage Authority (“OBTSA”) and the former Old Bridge Municipal Utilities Authority (“OBMUA”), which was responsible for waste water treatment and collection and water treatment and distribution, respectively. The combining of these operations has resulted in improved efficiency and cost-effectiveness of their operations under the Act, specifically N.J.S.A. 40:14-20.
The OBMUA is a public entity however it is funded entirely by revenues related to water and wastewater operations, not via municipal or state taxes.
Appointed by Township Council, the five (5) member Board of Commissioners and (2) alternates oversees the OBMUA budgets, expenditures and improvements, as well as making other policy decisions. Daily operations are managed by the Executive Director.
Authority Members: 2019
John E. Murphy, III
Vice Chairman, 1st Alternate
Secretary, 2nd Alternate
Dr. Anita Greenberg
Key Administrative Staff
71 Boulevard West Cliffwood Beach, NJ 07735
Customer and Employee Statistics
Total Number of Customers
Total Number of Employees
gpm= gallons per minute | mg= million gallons | mgd= million gallons per day
Water System Overview
The Authority is the only purveyor of water in the Township of Old Bridge and provides, as of June 2, 2015, approximately 27,664 equivalent domestic consumer units in the Township with water service representing approximately 98% of users in the Township. The remainder of the residents of the Township obtains water from private wells. The Authority’s water facilities (collectively, the “Water System”) were principally constructed during the years 1955 through 1965 and 1983 through 2015. The overall condition of the facilities may be classified as good, and the Authority has an ongoing capital program for those of its facilities that are currently in need of rehabilitation.
Although the Authority has jurisdiction for the supply of potable water to the residents of the Township, on June 17, 1988, the Authority also entered into an agreement with the Township of Aberdeen to sell that municipality up to 3.0 million gallons per day (“mgd”) of finished water. The agreement provides for a minimum purchase of 0.7 mgd on a take-or-pay basis.
Water System Facilities
The Authority’s present Water System facilities consist of eight wells, two water treatment plants (Browntown and Old Bridge), eight available storage tanks and three pressure booster stations. All water supply service areas, which cover approximately three-quarters of the area available for development in the Township, are interconnected via an extensive distribution system consisting primarily of six inch to twenty-inch water mains.
The rated capacities of the Authority’s two water treatment plants are 5.0 mgd for the Browntown plant and 3.0 mgd for the Old Bridge plant. However, due to backwashing requirements, the maximum usable production from the two plants is approximately 7.5 mgd. On November 17, 1986, the Authority entered into an agreement with the Middlesex Water Company (“MWC”) for the purchase of up to 9.0 mgd of finished water. Additionally, the Authority has emergency interconnections with Perth Amboy, Monroe, Aberdeen and the Marlboro Municipal Utilities Authority. On June 17, 1988, the Authority entered into an agreement with the Township of Aberdeen to purchase finished water from time to time through the interconnection.
The treatment plants treat raw water withdrawn from the Authority’s eight wells. The Authority’s New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“NJDEP”) permit allows it to withdraw up to 1,542.06 million gallons (“mg”) per year, which corresponds to an average rate of 4.22 mgd. The maximum monthly allocation is limited to 222.5 mg, or an average rate of 7.3 mgd. In addition, the Authority currently purchases between 2.0 and 8.0 mgd from MWC.
Peak demands are met by the utilization of storage facilities. The Authority has 20.75 mg of storage capacity in eight elevated and/or ground tanks.
Water consumption in 2014 was 2.299 billion gallons, or an average of 6.169 mgd. Maximum water use occurs during the summer months as a result of increased demand for lawn watering, filling pools and other outdoor uses. In 2014 the maximum daily use occurred on July 11, 2014 and the month averaged 8.328 mgd. Withdrawals from storage are required during periods of maximum use.
In 2001, the Authority commenced installation of a radio read meter reading system to replace the time-consuming practice of physically reading consumer water meters. Since the inception of this program to completion, the Authority connected all customer accounts to radio read meters using Authority force account employees. This completes our meter installation program where all 27,664 EDCU’s are now radio reads.
A comparison of water use during calendar years 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 is presented below:
Gallon Flow Comparison Chart 2005 Through 2014
Daily Flow (mgd)
Daily Flow (mgd)
2005 7.04 Aug (9.50) 2006 6.91 Aug (9.42) 2007 7.13 July (9.02) 2008 6.91 July (9.75) 2009 6.35 Aug (8.64) 2010 7.29 July (10.06) 2011 6.63 July (11.85) 2012 6.67 July (10.93) 2013 6.32 July (8.06) 2014 6.17 July (10.07)
Browntown Water Treatment Plant
The Browntown Water Treatment Plant is located at the intersection of Route 9 South and Throckmorton Lane. The plant has a rated capacity of 5.0 mgd. The plant is serviced by four wells, which pump groundwater to the two forced draft aerators. The aerators are used for iron conversion and hydrogen sulfide removal. Flow from the aerators enters a 78-foot diameter clarifier rated at 5.0-mgd capacity. Coagulating chemicals are added to the clarifier for removal of iron and turbidity via settling of the treated water. After clarification, the water is pumped to five pressure filters, which remove turbidity and small floc containing residual iron. A backwash holding tank is used to recover backwash water from the filters and also to remove the solids from the recycled backwash water. Iron sludge from the clarifier and backwash detention tank is discharged into the Authority’s sanitary sewer system.
Five service pumps are used to distribute water to the distribution system. Prior to the filtration, the treated water is disinfected with chlorine and pumped to either the 0.5 million gallon clear well or directly to the distribution system.
Old Bridge Water Treatment Plant
The Old Bridge Water Treatment Plant has a rated capacity of 3.0 mgd and is served by four wells. The original plant pumped the water from the filters directly to the distribution system. In April 1996 the plant configuration was changed to encompass Oak Street Station as part of the Old Bridge Plant. The filters now pump the water to the two million-gallon tank on Oak Street, which water is then pumped out through the Oak Street Booster Station. A 2.5-mgd pump was also added to the Oak Street Station to give the station a total capacity of 6.0 mgd.
The reason for the plant improvement was to prevent the pressure from the pumps at the Old Bridge Plant from working against the pressures from the pumps in the Oak Street Station, and also to maintain a more consistent pressure in the South Old Bridge area.
Raw water is treated via forced draft aeration, clarification, filtration and disinfection prior to entering the 2.0 million-gallon tank on Oak Street. Two pressurized filters, each rated at 1.5 mgd, are installed at the plant.
Pressure Booster Stations
The Oak Street Booster Station contains four pumps, two each rated at 1,800 gallons per minute (“gpm”), one at 1,500 gpm and one at 900 gpm. The station is used in conjunction with the Oak Street Water Storage Tank to pump water into the Water System during periods of low pressure.
The Cheesequake Booster Station has four pumps that are capable of pumping 3,500 gpm to the Cheesequake area of the Township. Three pressure reducing valves, installed in early 1986, are used in conjunction with the Booster Station to provide adequate water pressure to the Cheesequake Section of the Township.
The Perrine Road Booster Station contains five pumps rated at 1,800 gpm, 1,600 gpm 1,600 gpm 1,500 gpm and 1,200 gpm. The station is used in conjunction with the Perrine Road Water Storage Tank and the Sayrewoods Elevated Water Storage Tank to supply water into the system to supplement the Authority’s groundwater supplies.
Water Storage Tanks
The Authority has eight available water storage tanks with a total capacity of 20.75 mg.
Capacity: (million gallons)
Perrine Road 10.00
Higgins Road 3.00
Oak Street 2.00
Browntown Plant 0.50
Route 516 2.00
Marlboro Road 2.00
Route 35 (Laurence Harbor) 0.25
Interconnection with Middlesex Water Company
In accordance with the conditions of the Authority’s Water Supply Allocation Permit No. 5340 dated November 26, 2001, and the authority granted to NJDEP under the Water Supply Management Act of 1981 (N.J.S.A. 58:1A-1 et seq.), the Authority is under ongoing regulatory mandate to reduce its dependence on groundwater supplies.
The Old Bridge wells are in the State’s Critical Area No. 1 and as such, must reduce withdrawals of groundwater by 40-50 percent based on actual use in 1983. In order to accomplish these groundwater supply reductions, the Authority entered into an agreement (the “MWC Agreement”) for a term of twenty years with the MWC to supply up to 9.0 mgd of surface water. The MWC Agreement was signed on November 17, 1986, and the Township began taking water under such MWC Agreement in May 1988. A new MWC Agreement was entered into on July 27, 2011. The term of this Agreement is twelve years, with the option to renew for an additional twenty (20) years from the date of expiration.
In accordance with the Authority’s NJDEP Permit (W.S. Permit No. 5340), the Authority was permitted to divert 222.5 million gallons per month (an average of 7.3 mgd) of groundwater from their supply wells at a maximum rate of 6,000 gallons per minute. Beginning in May 1988, the effective date of use of water from the MWC, the Authority’s allocation was reduced to 1,428.58 million gallons annually or an average of 3.9 mgd.
These cutbacks, which were in accordance with the requirements for reduction of groundwater withdrawals imposed by NJDEP, required that groundwater withdrawals from all wells in Critical Area No. 1 (which includes the Township) be reduced by 40 to 50 percent of 1983 use.
In 1995 the Authority purchased Diversion Rights from South Amboy increasing the groundwater withdrawal amount up to the current 1,542.06 million gallons or an average of 4.2 mgd.
In accordance with the MWC Agreement, the Authority is obligated to take-or-pay a minimum of 2.0 mgd. This minimum commitment will increase as the average and peak use of MWC water by the Township increases.
Based upon its current water usage projections, the Authority anticipates that based on the conjunctive use of the Authority wells and MWC water, sufficient supply is available through the year 2025. The present rate of water purchased from MWC is $2,878.01 per million gallons.
The Authority’s 2014 average daily water supply demand was 6.17 mgd, and such demand is currently projected to be 8.8 mgd in 2016, increasing up to 11.1 mgd by 2027. In order to meet these projected demands, the Authority must increase its dependence on surface water supplies or supplies from non-critical areas. At the present time, it is contemplated that these supplies will be provided by MWC. The contract with MWC provides for up to 9.0 mgd of supply.
The Sewer System Overview
The Authority serves, as of June 2, 2015 was 26,793 equivalent domestic consumer units with sewage disposal services and provides such services throughout the Township. The majority of the pumping stations as well as much of the piping conveyance facilities (collectively, the “Sewer System”) were constructed by private developers and subsequently accepted by the Authority. The Authority conducts an ongoing maintenance program on the Sewer System, including inspections, testing, flushing, repairs and replacements.
The Authority’s Sewer Division has the responsibility for accomplishing, by all reasonable and economic means, the relief of the waters in and bordering the State from pollution arising from causes within the Township and the consequent improvement of conditions affecting the public health. The Authority has exclusive responsibility for sewage disposal development within the Township, and the establishment of competitive sewerage facilities is prohibited by the Act.
Sewage Disposal Facilities
The Sewer System consists of two major components: the piping conveyance facilities and pumping stations. The Sewer System serves the seven main drainage areas of the Township. The Iresick, Tennents Brook, Deep Run, Pricketts Brook and Matchaponix drainage areas represent approximately eighty percent (80%) of the area of the Township and are sewered by Authority trunk sewers tributary to the South River Interceptor of the Middlesex County Utilities Authority (“MCUA”). This sewage flow is metered by two metering/sampling chambers and is treated at the MCUA’s secondary treatment plant.
The Lake Lefferts and Raritan Bay drainage areas represent approximately the remaining twenty- percent (20%) of the Township and are sewered by Authority trunk sewers tributary to the South Bay Interceptor. This sewage flow is metered by a metering/sampling chamber located in Cliffwood Beach and is treated at the MCUA’s secondary treatment plant.
Under an ongoing agreement between the Authority and MCUA (“MCUA Agreement”), the MCUA is responsible to treat sewage collected within the Township and discharged by the Authority to the MCUA. The MCUA imposes charges therefore at the same rates as for other customers for treatment services. Under the MCUA Agreement, the Authority discontinued treatment and conveys all sewage collected by it to the MCUA for treatment.
The Sewage Collection System
trunk sewers comprising approximately 210 miles of pipe, which serves all seven drainage areas of the Township. The Authority has four major trunk sewers, which are fed by many smaller collector systems. Gravity sewers range in size from 6 to 42 inches in diameter and force mains range between 3 and 20 inches in diameter.
Four major trunk sewers, the Iresick, the Deep Run, the Runyon and the Laurence Harbor trunk sewers, serve the seven drainage basins. The Laurence Harbor trunk sewer line through the swamps by Margarets Creek was replaced in 2009 and is saving additional sums due to the reduction on inflow from the swamps.
The Authority owns, operates and maintains thirty-seven sewage pumping stations which includes one ejector station.