Necessary Upgrades Coming to Camden's Sewer Systems

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CAMDEN, N.J. -

The Camden Collaborative Initiative (CCI) announced what they see as very important changes coming to the city during Wednesday morning's 2018 Camden Environmental Summit. 

One of the main topics of the summit, held Wednesday, June 6th, was flooding within the city. Camden is infamous for having one of the oldest sewer systems in the state of New Jersey, causing horrible flooding in more than two-thirds of the city with as little as an inch of rain.

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“We are right by the river," said Camden's Mayor, Frank Moran. "So ... for decades, we have suffered when you have torrential rains ... area roads are flooded for hours."

“There [are] backups and when it rains, some of the neighbors are flooded in their streets and sometimes the sewage will back up to the residential property or commercial property," said Camden Freeholder Jeffrey Nash.

During the summit, a panel of CCI partners, community and environmental leaders addressed these issues and went into detail about the updates to the city. The CCI involves more than 80 partners that have volunteered to come together to improve the livelihood of Camden's residents. 

“We host an annual environmental summit to highlight the work of the partners and use it as an opportunity to share with Camden’s residents, elected officials, and environmentalists some of the amazing work that’s going on in the city of Camden," said the summit's project manager, Caroline Gray with the Cooper's Ferry Partnership.

The work includes restoring existing pipes by cleaning and expanding, as well as upgrading to a whole new system. The current 19th-century sewer system is a single sewerage and storm drain system. A new system will separate the two, creating more space for water to go.

"The State of New Jersey has given us that opportunity through the Environmental Infrastructure Trust Fund and we can do big projects like this," said Nash. "In Camden, it’s so important because the city is going through a revitalization that’s unprecedented maybe in the entire country and improving the infrastructure has to be an important part of that.” 

Other changes include creating more parks and green spaces, which will actually help eliminate stormwater going into systems in the first place. 

The city hopes to eradicate combined sewage flooding in Camden by 2020.

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