The Township sewage system consists of a one hundred mile network of sanitary and storm sewers, four disposal plants, and three pumping stations. The sanitary sewage, an average of 2,500,000 gallons per day, either flows directly or is pumped to the Plants, where the processes of separation, digestion, drying, and final disposal of the bulk material take place.

Modern sewage disposal has developed from scientific and engineering study, and sanitation experts are constantly striving for greater perfection. Therefore, the description that follows is admittedly sketchy, and is offered to the layman reader who may gain a rough idea therefrom regarding Teaneck's plant system.

Teaneck's sewage when it first enters the disposal plants passes through screens of iron bars which separate out the coarser solid material. This material is periodically removed and buried. From the screens the sewage flows into what is technically known as an "Imhoff Tank." Imhoff Tanks are really two tanks, one above the other. The sewage is led into the upper tank and passes through it at such a slow rate that much of the solid material in suspension falls to the bottom. This bottom of the top tank is hopper shaped with a narrow slit along the lowest point. Through this slit the solid material falls into the bottom tank. The liquid sewage, after having passed through the tank, is emptied directly into either the Hackensack River or the Overpeck Creek, without further treatment. The solid material which has fallen into the lower tank slowly rots until finally all the organic material is gone, and only the inorganic is left. This material is technically known as sludge, and through a proper arrangement of pipes and pumps it is periodically raised from the bottom of the tanks and spread on glass covered drying beds. This drying process takes several weeks, after which the sludge is removed in wheelbarrows and trucks, and disposed of by dumping on nearby available ground.

From this description it can be realized that the sewage as it passes out of the Imhoff Tanks is far from being either chemically stable or bacteriologically pure. Recently the State Board of Health issued orders to numerous municipalities in this vicinity, Teaneck among them, to further treat their sewage so as to make the effluent harmless, both from the nuisance and health point of view. This secondary treatment can be accomplished in a number of ways; which one might be most economical for Teaneck remains to be determined. The present attitude of the municipal government of Teaneck on this matter is that the only permanent worthwhile solution is to gather up the sewage of the various municipalities in a trunk sewer and subject it to purification at a central disposal plant. There are many engineering reasons in favor of such central treatment; besides, it is the only method which gives promise of permitting the Hackensack Valley and the Overpeck Valley to become the residence and recreational area which it might be.

A listing of the Township Sewage Disposal Plants and Pumping Stations, their respective locations, and the areas serviced thereby, follows:

       Disposal Plants
       and Pumping Stations          Location                   Area Serviced
       "Pomander Walk Plant"        Near Hackensack River,    South-west section: south of
                                    South-west of Pomander    State Highway, and west of
                                    Walk and Phelps Avenue    Queen Anne Road, to the
                                                              Bogota line at Gray Street:
                                                              also, a small area in West
                                                              Englewood section, south of
                                                              Forest Avenue and west of
                                                              Sussex Road.

       "Glenwood Park Plant,"       On meadows, at 	       South-east section: south of
       and Pumping Station	         continuation of	       Lindbergh Boulevard, and
       No.2	                  John St.	                east of Teaneck Road, to
                                                              Ridgefield Park line.
                                                              Pumping Station No. 2 raises
                                                              sewage delivered below tide level.

       "River Road Plant,"         The disposal plant        North-west section: north of
       and Pumping Station No.3    is located at River       South Forest Drive, and west
                                   Road, foot of             of Sussex Road; also,takes sewage
                                   Washburn St. The          delivered from Pumping Station
                                   pumping station is        No. 3 which handles sewage
                                   located at Churchill      of the central West Englewood 
                                   Road and West Shore       section.

       Pumping Station             At Riverview Avenue       Lifts sewage from low area
                                   and Lark Street           at New Milford line, to
                                                             "River Road Disposal Plant."

       "Vandelinda Plant"          Eastern foot of           North-east and south-central
                                   Lindbergh Boulevard       section: from Bergenfield's
                                                             line through the Selvage,
                                                             Phelps Manor, and Lower
                                                             Teaneck sections, to Ridge-
                                                             field Park line.

These disposal plants and pumping stations are manned by a Chief Operator and three Assistant Operators, one assistant serving on a half-time basis. The Chief Operator has general supervision over all plants and stations, and is permanently assigned as Operator of one plant; also, he is responsible for all necessary repair work, and is helped in such duty by the Department Mechanic. In view of experience, this force cannot be reduced, and must be retained to keep the system in satisfactory operation.

During 1936, all sewers, both sanitary and storm, were flushed, and some received additional attention as the emergency arose. There are 684 storm water catch basins, each of which was cleaned whenever necessary, all being cared for at least once, and in some cases as many as six times.

Cleaning Tanks at Vandelinda Disposal Plant

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Introduction | Forward | An Open Door | Teamwork in the Department | Department Personnel Department Equipment | Street Maintenance | Street Cleaning | Winter Conditions Sewer and Disposal System | Refuse and Garbage Disposal | Shade Tree Division | Weed Cutting | "Jack of All Trades" | Department Costs


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