The Hopewell Township Health Department, in response to odor complaints from residents, has conducted a sanitary survey of the Pennytown Pond property at 145 Route 31 North and neighboring properties to identify any sources of pollution that may be impacting the pond.
During the survey process, a failing septic system was identified on an adjacent property. The septic system was found to be open discharging wastewater onto the ground surface, in violation of N.J.A.C. 7:9A-3.4(b)-2. Health Officials have ordered the discharge of wastewater to the disposal field be terminated indefinitely. Sewage disposal for the property is being handled through pumping and hauling by licensed contractors. The property owner will be cited for the violation of NJ septic regulations for the discharge. The case will be heard in Hopewell Township Municipal Court.
The Pennytown Pond has been a source of odor complaints for several years. The odors have been attributed to the pond’s advanced age. A pond begins with mostly water, few nutrients, and little aquatic life. Over time the pond accumulates nutrients. This enrichment process is called eutrophication. Eventually, though, there will be an accumulation of material that resists decay and the pond will fill up. It will become a bog and someday will resemble dry land. The Pennytown Pond has entered the final life stage and the resulting odors have been very strong at times.
In 2015, the Health Department conducted a series a water tests to assess the water quality to assure there was not sewage in the water. Those tests were negative. In light of the identification of a failing septic system in the area, the tests will be run again to assess the potential impacts.
You may contact the Hopewell Township Health Department at (609) 737-0120 with questions you may have regarding this matter.