Prepared for the Stone Harbor Property Owners Association – June 9, 2018


  • Have you ever wondered where the Stone Harbor water you drink, shower, and water your plants with comes from?
  • Are our water supply and the quality we need sustainable for the long term?
  • Do rising oceans, land subsidence, and seawater intrusion affect our supply?
  • Are we conserving water and making sure our use is efficient?


These questions were posed by SHPOA to a hired researcher that resulted in a “white paper” to be used to educate, inform, and give the residents of Stone Harbor “food for thought”. The paper is posted on our website. It concludes that, like most of coastal New Jersey, our supply relies on groundwater. Over pumping of the groundwater is causing the ground levels to sink, called subsidence. This, married with rising ocean levels, is a significant sustainability concern for our island.

The Atlantic City 800 is our groundwater basin and its shared by numerous cities’, towns, boroughs, and unincorporated areas. The groundwater levels are depressed and these depressed levels extend from Atlantic City to below Stone Harbor and five miles out to sea and even further inland. The “white paper” makes recommendations on how Stone Harbor can join with other users of the AC 800 and protect our future. It demonstrates the need for all of us to conserve water. Since most of Stone Harbor’s water use is outside the home for our gardens and landscaping, we, as homeowners, have great discretion in planting native plants, stop overwatering lawns, replacing lawns with alternative landscaping. The Borough is the single largest water user and needs to lead the way. The “white paper” on water supply and conservation is one of four legs in SHPOA’s Sustainability “stool”. It is a call to action for us, as water users. Please inform yourself and discuss with your family, neighbors, and friends on how you can assist in this important effort.

SHPOA has shared this paper with the borough that appreciates the association’s efforts to educate its members and the community at large regarding water conservation. We will continue our dialogue with the mayor and council to develop future strategies that will benefit this important conservation project.

Note from the President of SHPOA: Please do not be discouraged by the paper’s length. It is a worthy “read” and worth your attention



Table of Contents

  • Introduction                                                                                                     
  • Executive Summary                                                                                        
  • Ground water, A Finite Resource                                                                
  • The Atlantic City 800 Foot Sand                                                                 
  • Conservation Techniques                                                                               
  • Recommendations                                                                                          
  • Conclusion                                                                                                         
  • Resources                                                                                                           



Table 1.  Cape May County water allocations 1998- 2050                                                              

Table 2.  Cape May County Municipal Utilities Authority  Wastewater removal cost, 2014-2018                                          

Table 3.  Sodium levels for Stone Harbor as reported in the Annual Quality Water Report. 2012-2017                               

Table 4.  Borough of Stone Harbor Water Diversion by Year and Highest Month

Table 5.  Atlantic City 800 Foot Sand volumetric yearly withdrawals in million gallons per year (MGY)                                                                    



Knowledge and awareness are the first steps to preserve a natural resource. This paper is designed to increase both knowledge and awareness of all who are directly affected by changes in the composition of drinking water in Stone Harbor. These include residents, property owners, and visitors.

The source of water for Stone Harbor, as for 75% of the coastal communities in New Jersey, is ground water. The sustainability of this supply is threatened by increased pumping of water from the aquifer, rising sea levels, sinking of the land, saltwater intrusion, and control of the recharge areas.

Saltwater intrusion results in an increasing concentration of chloride and/or sodium in the water supply (Lacombe, 2009). The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies sodium and chloride in the list of non-mandatory water quality contaminants. These secondary contaminants are considered to be non-life threatening and only affect water quality in terms of odor and taste. Water purveyors need only test for these secondary contaminants on a voluntary basis. The maximum contaminant level for sodium is 50 milligrams per liter (mg/L) and for chloride is 250 mg/L.

The Rutgers University “Sea-level Rise in New Jersey Fact Sheet” discusses how sea level rise can exacerbate saltwater intrusion, especially when combined with land subsidence, or sinking of the land. The researchers state that land subsidence due to natural land movement and pumping of ground water is causing sea level to rise faster in New Jersey than the global average. The rate of sea level rise over the past 20 years has increased to approximately 2.6 inches and continues to increase (Miller, 2014). In the past decade, a 3.5-inch rise in sea level was recorded at Sandy Hook, New Jersey. In this same period, Sandy Hook recorded more than 1 inch in land subsidence (Upton, 2016). The land subsidence in the Northeast United States is significant and caused by both prehistoric glaciers and ground water extraction.

A report in 2009 titled “Future Water-Supply Scenarios, Cape May County, New Jersey, 2003-2050” prepared by USGS researchers Pierre Lacombe, Glen B. Carleton, Daryll A. Pope, and Donald E. Rice focused on the issues of saltwater intrusion and preservation of the water supply in the county’s five fresh water aquifers. The researchers created 9 scenarios to model positive and adverse effects to the water levels of the aquifers and the ecological water supply. Scenarios 1-3 used the existing infrastructure of each municipality while increasing the water allocation in stages to its 2050-estimated amount. Scenarios 4-9 made changes such as moving wells, drilling new wells in different aquifers, and constructing additional desalination plants. Pros and cons existed in each scenario. The point of the modeling was to focus attention on the interrelationship between the amount of ground water pumped and the level of the ground water basin, saltwater intrusion, and land subsidence.

The “New Jersey Water Supply Plan 2017-2022”concludes that the state has enough water to meet the needs of the population into the “foreseeable future.” Does foreseeable future refer only up to 2022? The plan does acknowledge that the southern part of the state faces the potential problem of saltwater intrusion and a plan to preserve its water supply needs to be forthcoming. Key to this plan are the preservation and protection of the ground water recharge areas, which are miles inland from the coastal areas of New Jersey.

The State water supply plan makes known that, although population growth continues per capita, water usage levels have decreased between the years from 1990-2015. The decrease is credited to conservation efforts such as more efficient plumbing, updated infrastructure, increased cost of water, and water-saving appliances. The key finding that appears absent from all of the studies is whether or not ground water levels are remaining constant at the current consumption levels and recharge.



Since the 1890s, pumping from the aquifers in Cape May County (CMC) has lowered the water table. When first drilled, wells were artesian- the water spilled out naturally due to the water pressure within the aquifer. The lowering of the water table has caused saltwater to replace fresh water in the wells of Cape May, Lower Township, and the Wildwoods. Cape May dealt with their problem by constructing an expensive desalination plant to remove salt from the water. The Wildwood Water Utility (WWU) drilled new wells inland and now uses an aquifer recovery and storage (ARS) system to keep water available to the Wildwoods.

Another potential problem with lowering water table levels is land subsidence. Natural fluctuations in the earth along the Northeast coast of the United States cause land to settle. This problem worsens when man-made changes, such as ground water pumping, accelerate this subsidence. The United States Geological Survey (USGS), an agency consisting of scientists who research and monitor the water supply and other natural resources, acknowledges that it is a problem. A 2016 article from Climate Central titled, “Sinking Atlantic Coastline Meets Rapidly Rising Seas,” states that land subsidence is a pressing issue, especially for residents of coastal communities who are also experiencing greater instances of flooding. Drawing down ground water levels in an aquifer can cause the land above it to collapse and sink (Upton, 2016). This is causing a greater focus on ground water levels and less on the amount of water left in ground water basins.

Stone Harbor pumps water from a confined aquifer called the Atlantic City 800 Foot Sand (AC Sand). Other counties that take water from this aquifer include Atlantic, Ocean, and Monmouth. According to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), pumping has not decreased the size of the AC sand. They state that “recent modeling of saltwater intrusion in the Atlantic City 800-foot sand aquifer indicates there are hundreds of years of fresh water remaining.” This focus on how much water is in the AC Sand aquifer is not the sole concern. The level of the basin’s ground water is decreased. Stone Harbor and the other communities using the AC Sand might benefit from a more active role in monitoring that the aquifer maintains a water level that ensures against saltwater intrusion and subsidence. This requires knowledge of the source of recharge water, locations of recharge, and annual quantities of recharge.

 From 1995-2017, yearly water usage in Stone Harbor fluctuated between approximately 180-214 million gallons a year (MGY). The highest yearly usage was in 2008. In the past few years, Stone Harbor has used slightly more than 200 MGY. Water conservation policies and increases in water prices might possibly account for the decrease.

According to Stone Harbor Borough Administrator, Jill Gougher, statistics on indoor versus outdoor water use in the borough are unable to be determined because not all properties have exclusion meters. An exclusion meter is a separate meter measuring outside water use, such as showers and landscape irrigation. The Stone Harbor Property Owners Association estimates that 60% of the total water use in summer is due to outside use.

 Other resources and costs related to water usage are the amount of electricity consumed for pumping water, the electricity used to pump wastewater sewage off the island, and the amount of wastewater that is treated before discharging. Wastewater pumped out of Stone Harbor in 2018 to the Cape May County Municipal Utilities Authority (CMCMUA) is estimated to be removed at a cost of $1,507,634. Conservation of water also saves on the cost of wastewater treatment and disposal.



Ground water is found beneath the earth’s surface and fills the spaces between rocks and particles. Ground water is replenished by precipitation, which is referred to as recharge. However, not all precipitation percolates back into the ground water aquifer. It might evaporate, be consumed by vegetation, or runoff the land into the oceans, rivers, and other bodies of water.

Aquifers are areas of sand, silt, and other permeable material that have the ability to supply wells through the release of water, naturally (artesian) or by pumping. Artesian wells rely on the water pressure inside the aquifer to naturally cause the water to rise up out of the ground without pumping. Most wells today are not artesian. They use pumping to draw the ground water out of the aquifer.

Recharge of the aquifer is affected both by natural and man-made conditions. The season of the year and amounts of precipitation are natural factors. The rising of sea levels is both a natural and man-made phenomenon and might cause saltwater to intrude into the fresh water ground supply. Saltwater intrusion is defined as “increasing concentrations of chloride and (or) sodium”(Lacombe, 2009). This can occur from conditions where the ground water is recharged, such as development or rising seawater.

Pumping for the water supply causes a cone of depression, which draws water towards the well. If the cone of depression becomes too large, it can change the flow of the water and lower the ground water level. In coastal areas, this might cause seawater to replace the space that was once filled with fresh water. Long-term pumping and reduction of the water level can lead to the land sinking (subsidence) and settling due to the decrease in water pressure within the aquifer. The size of the underground reservoir (aquifer) is permanently reduced when subsidence occurs. In the last decade, the Jersey coast has seen 1 inch of subsidence and 3.5 inches of sea rise. Ground water extraction is a contributor (Upton, 2016).

A significant factor affecting ground water recharge is urbanization. Houses, parking lots, roadways, and commercial/industrial development decrease the surface that rainwater needs to seep back into the ground. The nonporous surfaces increase water runoff into surface bodies of water while decreasing aquifer recharge, which can also lead to increased flooding.

Not all land is created equal when determining recharge rates for aquifers. Shallow and unconfined aquifers have the advantage of being closer to the surface and the visible water table, thus having a faster rate of recharge. Confined, deep aquifers, such as the AC Sand, are so deep underground in some areas that recharge takes place 20-30 miles inland where the aquifer begins and is closer to the surface. It is in these inland areas that recharge is the greatest and maintaining the natural permeability and land uses are of spaces of most important. The types of land development over the recharge area can greatly affect the water quality in the aquifer.



Approximately 40% of the State of New Jersey uses ground water to supply potable water. The Coastal Plain region of New Jersey, however, which includes Stone Harbor, relies on approximately 75% of ground water to supply water to the population. The AC Sand is the major aquifer used by most coastal communities in southern New Jersey. Atlantic County is the largest individual consumer of water from this aquifer. Most of Cape May County and parts of Ocean and Monmouth Counties also have municipalities using the AC Sand as their water source. The AC Sand is the sole supplier for Seven Mile Island.

The AC Sand is located in southeast New Jersey. According to the NJDEP, the aquifer encompasses all of Cape May County, most of Atlantic County, and parts of Burlington and Ocean Counties. It is a confined aquifer, which means it “is covered by a tight layer which inhibits recharge and protects it.” The basin is deep underground along the coast, but rises closer to the surface inland where the majority of the recharge occurs.

This aquifer is made up of mainly sand and gravel, along with some clay layers. A conservative estimate by the NJDEP says it can hold trillions of gallons of water, but not all of this is available for the water supply. According to a report by Pierre Lacombe and Carleton in 2002, the overlying unit of clay and silt layers is from 40 to 190 ft thick in Cape May County. At Atlantic City, the aquifer is 800 feet below the surface, which explains the name.

Since pumping began in the 1890s, the water level has declined. In 1986, approximately 21 million gallons a day, 7,665 million gallons a year, were pumped from the AC sand and, since then, its water level has remained below sea level along most of coastal southern New Jersey (McAuley, 2001). According to data obtained from the NJDEP, in 2015 approximately 8,972 million gallons of water a year were extracted from the aquifer. A permanent depression in the water level exists and becomes greater in the summer months.

In areas like Atlantic County and Cape May County, where the AC Sand is its deepest, regional issues with pumping are a concern. Water pumped from wells in Atlantic County can adversely affect wells in Cape May County and vice versa. The depth of the aquifer and the dense confining layers in these areas make recharge dependent on areas outside either county. The “New Jersey Water Supply Plan 2017-2022: Appendix B” identified parts of Ocean County with permeable land that provides considerable recharge to the aquifer. The USGS also stated that recharge is strong in an area of Burlington County where the AC Sand runs closer to the surface. It is in these areas that maintaining permeability is most important for precipitation to recharge the aquifer. It is also in these areas that land use should be consistent with maintaining water quality.

Like most of the world, ground water levels in Cape May County are susceptible to seasonal fluctuations, such as the onset of the growing season in spring and recreation in summer. According to the NJDEP ground water levels declined through 2012, but have stabilized over the last few years. Since 1993, an observation well in North Wildwood has been measuring water levels in the AC Sand and information can be gained at the USGS Groundwater Watch page found at

Stone Harbor is the southernmost town in Cape May County with wells within the city limits still pumping potable water. Cape May City and the Wildwoods lost their wells to saltwater intrusion. The problem of saltwater intrusion through recharge water quality or seawater intrusion is a concern for all users of the AC Sand aquifer.

Four wells on the island pump water from the AC Sand. Often, the water coming from the wells registers above the EPA standard for sodium of 50 mg/L. Historically, the AC Sand has been observed to contain elevated levels of sodium. In a 1994 Press of Atlantic City article, USGS hydrologist Pierre Lacombe said salt could be coming from the native clay confining the aquifer which mobilizes with recharge. Stone Harbor blends the water from the four wells to decrease sodium levels. The Borough informs users of the higher than recommended sodium levels in the Annual Quality Drinking Water Report issued by the Stone Harbor Water Department (SHWD). The report informs users that higher sodium is primarily a taste issue, unless a person is on a sodium-restricted diet.

The “Future Scenarios” report estimated saltwater intrusion caused by natural underground conditions might not affect Stone Harbor for at least 400 years. However, this estimate did not consider factors that could have a significant impact. Sea level rise, changes in recharge quality and quality, pumping from other communities, and land subsidences are just a few of these factors. The point in monitoring the AC Sand is not to know when salinity might compromise Stone Harbor’s wells, but instead to maintain the aquifer’s water level to minimize seawater intrusion and limit land subsidence.

Chloride levels are tested in each of the wells by the SHWD and the results can be found at the New Jersey Drinking Water Watch page found at The Public Water System Identification (PWSID) number for Stone Harbor is NJ0510001. From 1995- 2016, the chloride levels in the wells have fluctuated between 13 mg/L in 1995 and 84.5 mg/L in 2015. It could be beneficial to those interested in the sustainability of Stone Harbor’s water supply for the SHWD to share information on how the wells are tested for chloride and the significance of the results. The USGS stated that a steady climb of chloride, even at only 5 or 6 mg/L a year, is something that should be monitored. Incorporating chloride testing into the results listed on the Annual Quality Drinking Water Report would assist all in the community in keeping an eye on the encroachment of salt water.

Stone Harbor has used more than 200 million gallons a year (MGY) of water in the past few years. Between 1995- 2017, yearly water use fluctuated between 180-214 MGY. The highest months were July or August with ranges between 37 – 45 million gallons a month (MGM). The year 2008 saw the highest yearly usage of 214 MGY and also a monthly usage in August of more than 45 MGM. In 2010, the yearly usage dropped to 211 MGY, however, a 45 MGM of usage for July prompted the Borough to request an increase in its water allocation from the NJDEP to keep from going over its monthly limit. The increase was granted in 2013.

Prior to the 2013 increase, Stone Harbor’s water allocation was 230 MGY and 46 MGM. Its current allocation is 268 MGY and 52 MGM. Gougher said the allocation request was “proactive” to keep from the possibility of paying a fine by exceeding the monthly limit. She said the request was in anticipation of the Reed’s opening and the razing of homes to build larger ones with more amenities that would likely increase water usage. Even with the water increase, Gougher said, at the same time, the Borough began “an aggressive water conservation campaign” and continues to research ways to reduce water usage. The Stone Harbor Property Owners Association (SHPOA) 2016 Project of the Year was a partnership with the Borough to modernize the irrigation system at the Water Tower lot. Drip irrigation with multiple zones was installed and native plants were planted.

Flooding in Stone Harbor seems to be more of a problem as paved roads and larger houses with greater impervious cover cause water to runoff faster than it can soak back into the earth. The roofs of houses quickly increase runoff, which seems to exacerbate the flooding. The excess water then inundates storm drains and floods streets. There are ways to design new homes so that rainwater is held on the property and percolates into the ground. There is new asphalt that allows water to percolate and not just runoff. The Borough should investigate these and other methods.

Saltwater intrusion caused the city of Cape May to lose most of its wells in the Cohansey aquifer. This prompted the city to build New Jersey’s first desalination plant in 1998, at a cost of $5 million. The cost of electric to run the plant in those early years was $250,000 a year (Degener, 2012). Cape May’s plant currently uses water from wells drilled into the AC sand for desalination (Lacombe, 2009, p11). The AC Sand might have been chosen to supply water for the desalination plant at lower salinity levels than the compromised Cohansey wells and possibly slow the increase of saltwater into that aquifer.

The price of water for users of the desalinated water rose from 70 cents to $1.80 per 1,000 gallons. This averaged to about $20 more per quarter for users compared to other utilities. The plant, however, guaranteed Cape May to not be dependent on buying all of its water in the future (Degener, 2012). According to the “Future Scenarios” report, as of 2009, the price of water for users increased to “$7.50 per 1,000 gallons, nearly double the amount that users in other county townships pay”(Lacombe, 2009).

Since 1967, Wildwood Water Utility (WWU) has been using a type of technology known as aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) which reduces the risk of increased salinity during the high water demand of summer. The utility is one of the first users of an ASR system in the United States. The WWU well field is located on Route 47 in Rio Grande. According to the WWU, ground water from these wells is injected into a shallow aquifer on the island during periods of low demand and withdrawn in the summer with the use of dual injection and recovery wells. In the past, WWU sourced its water from wells in the Rio Grande, Cohansey, and Holly Beach aquifers. The NJDEP did provide a figure of 131.5 million gallons a month (MGM) allocation to the WWU for water extracted from the AC Sand.



Cape May County is sourcing most of its water from the AC Sand. To aid water conservation, the Cape May County government created mandates for all tourist accommodations. These mandates require conservation techniques such as the installation of low-flow toilets and showerheads. Farms, golf courses, and landscaping are “monitored to reduce irrigation demands or use native vegetation that has a low water demand. Also, Federal, State, county, local, and private agencies have purchased land and created or encouraged legislation to preserve and protect the ecological and potable water supplies” (Lacombe, 2009, p2).

Some of the conservation techniques employed by the Borough of Stone Harbor include residential irrigation schedules, the use of smart irrigation technologies, and new construction practices. The Borough also suggests the use of drip irrigation and choosing native plants for landscaping. Other initiatives include:

  • Creating the Go Green Campaign, Go Green Fair, and conservation reminders on Channel 97
  • Suggesting the addition of one or two inches of mulch to a garden to help retain water
  • Suggesting routine monitoring of smart irrigation systems to ensure timers are working appropriately and not operating during rainfall
  • Recognizing changing landscaping needs that could decrease water usage and increase sustainability
  • Suggesting the assistance of an Irrigation Association (IA) Certified Professional
  • Limiting construction on lots to 70% impermeable space. This needs to be revisited as increased home runoff is contributing to flooding

In 2016, The SHPOA placed water conservation at the forefront with its Project of the Year. The project was the 96th Street Pump House demonstration garden. The purpose was to create a garden using plants indigenous to the barrier island. A benefit of native plants is they require less water because they have adapted to the conditions of the island. SHPOA employed the guidance of Josh Nemeth, owner of the Wildlife Gardener, to design and plant indigenous plant species. “There are hundreds of thousands of plants native to the barrier islands,” said Nemeth, “It’s not just what we see on the dunes, at the ocean, and the back bays. Other plants existed, but have been eradicated.”

Examples of native plants include bergamot, foamflower, butterfly milkweed, wild petunia, and black-eyed Susan. These and many other species were included in SHPOA’s recent planting of more than 60 native plants to the Water Tower area.

A return to native plantings also help to regain a balance of the natural ecosystem by attracting animal and insect species that have been pushed out because of non-indigenous plantings. In addition to using less water, native landscaping requires less need for herbicides and pesticides and, instead, allows nature to take care of these issues. Fewer chemicals sprayed on lawns and into the air means fewer chemicals making their way into the water cycle through runoff.

According to SHPOA, 60% of the total water use in summer is a result of outside usage. The garden was created to entice homeowners with its beauty and inspire them to add some native plants to their landscaping while also phasing out those that require more water consumption, such as traditional lawns and plants like hibiscus, hydrangea, and most annuals. Landscaping requiring little irrigation is called xeriscaping and has been gaining popularity across the country in the past few years.



Stone Harbor has created many initiatives that have increased awareness about the importance of conserving the water supply. Other recommendations include:

  1. Cooperate with other users of the AC Sand to monitor the water level and quality, protect the major recharge areas, and prevent pollution. Land use in recharge areas is important
  2. Request a detailed study of the aquifer in coordination with the NJDEP and the USGS. The last major modeling of the area was completed in 2009- many changes may have occurred in the past nine years
  3. Create a water quality management committee in Stone Harbor, Cape May County, and regionally
  4. Change the Stone Harbor Ordinance to require more permeable space in construction, greater control of runoff, and a reduction in flooding.
  5. Add chloride to the list of contaminants tested for and reported in the Stone Harbor Annual Quality of Drinking Water Report. A slow, consistent rise of 5 or 6 mg/L a year could indicate a saltwater intrusion problem is encroaching faster than expected.
  6. Using data from homes with exclusion meters, Stone Harbor can estimate the percentage of outside water use from May through September
  7. Encourage increased use of native plants that require less water, less maintenance, and promote the natural atmosphere of the island.
  8. Encourage irrigation techniques that apply water more efficiently
  9. Prepare a more detailed analysis of the AC Sand aquifer. What affects it? Is it totally self- contained? What is its rate of recharge? Is the rate of recharge equal to that of extraction? Has development near areas of high recharge decreased percolation percentages?
  10. Monitor and report annual water levels in the AC Sand and water quality changes



Sustainability of the water supply and preserving its quality are top priority for Stone Harbor. Saltwater intrusion, sea level rise, and unnecessary use of water for irrigation are all examples of ways in which water is wasted and its quality compromised. Water is a finite source and aquifers, locally and globally, are being stressed and pumped to levels lower than can be recharged.

Conservation efforts have successfully decreased the amount of water used in New Jersey over the past twenty years. This decrease is credited to increased public awareness, infrastructure improvements, increased water cost, and water-saving appliances. Continued efforts are necessary to maintain past successes as newer, larger homes are built.

Saltwater intrusion modeling for Stone Harbor provides educated estimates, but cannot account for all possible scenarios. Cape May County and Atlantic County water usage is interrelated and pumping in one county can affect the wells in the other. It could be beneficial for Stone Harbor and Cape May County to initiate an ongoing dialogue with other users of the AC Sand, especially Atlantic County, to develop regional initiatives that protect this aquifer that is vital to southern New Jersey.


Table 1.  Cape May County water allocations 1998- 2050.

*Year 2016. Source: Wikipedia

** Cape May County Summer Population Estimate- 2016

Source:   Population-2016PDF






Year round*/






(Lacombe, 2009)









Present NJDEP



(AC Sand only)

Present NJDEP



(AC Sand only)

Projected 2050



(Lacombe, 2009)

Avalon 1,279/35,118 310 MGY 354 MGY 76.8 MGM 495 MGY 106 MGM 450 MGY
Stone Harbor 833/22,143 200 MGY 230 MGY 46 MGM 268 MGY 52 MGM 298 MGY
Sea Isle City 2,085/45,090 350 MGY 440 MGY 77.1 MGM 402.5 MGY 77.1 MGM 468 MGY
New Jersey American Water Ocean City



1,250 MGY 1,296 MGY 263.5 MGM 1,296 MGY 263.5 MGM 1558 MGY
Cape May City 3,500/ 46,324       678 MGY    
Wildwood Water Utility



        131.5 MGM  
NJ American CMCH 5338***       385 MGY 54 MGM  




Table 2.  Cape May County Municipal Utilities Authority wastewater removal cost, 2014-2018

Year 2018 (estimated) 2017 2016 2015 2014
Cost $1,507,634 $1,528,667 $1,191,269 $1,181,988 $1,091,420




Table 3.  Sodium levels for Stone Harbor as reported in the Annual Quality Water Report. 2012-2017

Year Sodium Level
2012 40- 100 mg/L
2013 23- 87 mg/L
2014 51-92 mg/L
2015 51-93 mg/L
2016 49-70 mg/L
2017 Results listed from 2016 testing




Table 4.  Borough of Stone Harbor Water Diversion by Year and Highest Month

Year Yearly Gallons (MGY)* Highest Month (MGM)**
2017 201,256,500 43,314,000 July
2015 187,237,000 37,012,000 August
2010 211,444,000 45,012,000 July
2005 195,996,000 39,713,000 August
2000 202,882,000 40,328,000 July
1995 182,377,000 40,630,000 August

*MGY- million gallons per year

** MGM- million gallons per month




Table 5.  Atlantic City 800 Foot Sand volumetric yearly withdrawals in million gallons per year (MGY)*

County Water Use 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015
Atlantic Commercial 178.119 207.115 189.93 197.29 11.82 26.993
Atlantic Industrial 195.63 40.848 173.59 114.9 81.45 90.02
Cape May Industrial 122.209 152.846 239.15 213.26 162.893 69.9607
Atlantic Irrigation       10.665 10.06 14.99
Cape May Irrigation       17.04 16.646 17.725
Ocean Irrigation              .4 16.211595 10.62 5.6928
Atlantic County Potable Supply 2794.696 2678.614 3011.348 3206.777717 4163.234121 3268.6051
Cape May Potable Supply 2111.332 2124.139 2531.105 2181.651667 2715.899321 2515.9606
Monmouth Potable Supply        3.501 311.283 246.626    345.71 436.382    365.554
Ocean Potable Supply 1785.068 1787.217 1955.88 2484.091833 2869.8248 2597.4349
Total   7190.555 7302.062 8348.029 8787.597812 10,478.829242 8,972.9361

*Data compiled by the NJDEP from the NJWaTr Database




  • Degener, R. “Desalination Plant Proved to be a Winning Gamble for Cape May.”Press of Atlantic City, NJ,  4 September 2012.
  • Degener, R.,”New Cape May Well to Boost Desalination Plant.”Press of Atlantic City, NJ, 6 March 2015.
  • Lacombe, P.J. and G.B. Carleton, D.A. Pope, and D.E. Rice, “Future Water- supply Scenarios, Cape May County, New Jersey, 2003-2050.”United States Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report, 2009.
  • Lacombe, P.J. and G.B. Carleton, “Saltwater Intrusion into Fresh Ground-water Supplies, Southern Cape May County, New Jersey, 1890-1991.”United States Geological Survey, 1992.
  • McAuley, S. and J.L. Barringer, G.N. Paulachok, J.S. Clark, and O.S. Zapecza, “Ground-water Flow and Quality in the Atlantic City 800-Foot Sand, New Jersey.”Prepared by the United States Geological SurveyIn cooperation with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Science, Research and Technology, Geological Survey, 2001.
  • Miller, K.G. and R.E. Kopp, J.V. Browning, and B.P. Horton, “Sea-Level Rise in New Jersey Fact Sheet.”
  • Rutgers University Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Institute of Marine and Coastal Science, 2014        (…g/Sealevelfactsheet7112014update.pdf)
  • New Jersey Drinking Water Watch
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