Ocean City Says No to Sewage From Neighboring Community

Ocean City Says No to Sewage From Neighboring Community

City Council is against any plan that would allow Upper Township to send sewage to the Ocean City treatment plant.


Ocean City is sending a clear message to Upper Township – keep your sewage.

City Council approved a resolution June 23 opposing any plan by the Cape May County Municipal Utilities Authority from diverting Upper Township’s sewage to Ocean City’s sewer plant system at 4500 Simpson Ave.

City Council President Bob Barr explained Tuesday in an interview with OCNJDaily.com that the Council and the administration are in agreement.

“The resolution is just the Council verbalizing that they are not for it. It is not an ordinance, nothing binding to it other than to say they oppose it,” Barr noted.

An aerial shot of the sewer plant. (Photo courtesy of the Cape May County Utilities Authority)

The resolution states, “In October 2021, after first notifying Ocean City of its intention to do so, Upper Township entered into a Shared Services agreement with the Cape May County Utilities Authority to obtain a wastewater study to determine whether it would be feasible for the Ocean City facility to accept sewage from Upper Township. City Council is not in favor of bringing sewage from Upper Township to the treatment plant in Ocean City.”

The resolution further said that City Council and the City of Ocean City, “opposes any effort to bring sewage from Upper Township to the treatment plant in Ocean City.”

City Councilman Keith Hartzell brought the matter to Council while running for his unsuccessful bid for mayor against Mayor Jay Gillian in the May 10 municipal election.

Hartzell heard from residents in the Merion Park/Roosevelt Boulevard neighborhoods of Upper Township’s intent for Ocean City to provide a shared sewer line to them and treat wastewater from Upper Township at the Ocean City plant.

“The resolution was brought forth by Councilman Hartzell,” Barr noted of the councilman, whose last meeting on the governing body was June 23. “He wanted our Council to formally memorialize that we would not take sewage from Upper Township.”

Barr said he is and will continue to be “adamantly against” any plan for sewage to be brought over from Upper Township.

“I love Upper Township and I want to be a good neighbor to them, obviously, but you know expanding and bringing sewage over the 34th Street Bridge would go right by my house and to expand the sewage and take that kind of risk bringing it over the bridge is just a lot of risk and for what reward, I just don’t know.”

Back in about the 1970s, Barr said both Ocean City and Upper Township had the opportunity to have their own sewage plants. While the plant is located in Ocean City, it is operated by the Cape May County Utilities Authority.

“We wanted it back then and thank God we did,” Barr said. “I give credit to those who made that difficult decision in the 1970s here. It was an excellent one. Upper Township chose not to. I think at the time, they thought they would not need it.”

The Municipal Utilities Authority sewer plant in Ocean City is located at 4500 Simpson Ave.