.







(Confidential until released by U.S.Engineer Office)


PASSAIC IHVER INVESTIGATION
; r Qua lity
>ntrol Reservoir













U. S. Public Health Service
Sanitary Engineering Division
Water & Sanitation Investigations
Cincinnati, Ohio
April,1947












-------
tJ. 8, Pub lie Heel tli Service
sanitary 2oginrlii^ Division
v/eter A Sanitation investigations
Cincinnati, Ohio
April,1*47
PASCAIC HI VJSH INVESTIGATJ ON
JBffacta on Water duality of Proposed
Hood Control reservoir
By
Richard L. vsoodward, Sanitary Engine r (R)
M. LeBoaquet, Jr., Sanitary Engineer
Prepared by tha U. 8. Public Health Service
at the request of and In oo-operation with
tha District Engineer, 0. s Engineer Office,
Kw York, N.Y.

-------
coktbmts
Page
Introduction	1
Conclusions	1
Description	2
Hater Supply	3
Sources of Pollution	4
Hjrdroaaetrio Data	4
Laboratory Data	$
Diaousaloo	6
APPENDIX
Cowasnta of April 25 1?47, of the Stat# of Kw Jersey.

-------
1.
Introduction
This study of the possible benefits to pollution
abatement of low-flow regulation by proposed flood control
reservoirs on the Passaic River and its tributaries was
authorized by the District Engineer. U. S. Engineer Office,
New York, N.Y., on February 18, 1946. The largest and most
important of these reservoirs is the one at Two Bridges
near the junction of the Pompton River with the Pas3aic.
Considerable use has been made of data furnished
through the U. S. Engineer Office by the Passaic Valley
Water Commission, the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission,
and the U. 3. Geological Survey. Beports of the New Jersey
State Health Department on sanitary conditions in the
watershed of the Passaic above Little Falls have also been
very helpful. Although additional laboratory and sanitary
survey data on the Passaic below Little Falls would be de-
sirable, the eipenae of obtaining such information was not
deemed justified for the purpose of this report.
Grateful acknowledgment is made of the assistance of
personnel of the Hew York District Engineer Office and of
those who furnished information used in connection with this
repo rt.
Conclusions
1.	The Passaic River and its tributaries are sources
of public water supply for a major part of the population
of the Northeastern New Jersey Metropolitan Area including
Newark, Jersey City, Pater son, and many smaller oomaaunities.
2.	Although the Passaic Basin is densely populated
and highly urbanized, the continued, vigorous efforts of
the State Health Department and the various public water
supply agenoies using the at reams have maintained the qual-
ity of the streams in satisfactory condition fojptose as raw
water supplies for municipal water purlftcation plants as
far downstream as little Falls.

-------
2.
5. Most of the sewage and industrial wastes from the
communities along the Passaic below little Wills Is col-
lected and treated by the Passaio Valley Sewerage Comalssion
and discharged Into !}ew York Bay. It thus does not affect
the passaio River.
4.	Residual pollution from this lower sootlon, includ-
ing sewage and industrial wastes not collected by the passaio
Valley Sewerage Cojaaaission and urban storm drainage, is suf-
ficient to caus^feross pollution of the tidal portion of the
lower Passaic.
5.	In view of the extremely low flows to whioh the Passaio
River is subject end the intensive development of its lower
reaches, the oost of abating this pollution by collection and
treatment will be high.
6.	Low-flow regulation by the proposed flood control
reservoir on the Passaio at Two Bridges would permit consid-
erable savings in the cost of pollution abatement. It would
still be necessary to reduce the pollution load, however.
7.	It is estimated that suoh flow regulation would
have a value of at least $5.00 per c.f.s.-day of reliable
increased flow during the season June-September. More in-
tensive study of alternative methods of pollution abatement
may well indicate that lnoreased flows have even greater
value.
Description
The passaio River drains an area of soae 950 square
miles in densely populated northeastern New Jersey and south-
eastern New York. It discharges into Newark Bay. Hie main
stream and several of its tributaries, notably the Roc ka way,
the Wanaq.ue and the Pequannook, supply water to a large pari
of the population of northeastern New Jersey including
Newark, Jersey City, Pater son and many smaller cities, with
a total population of over 1,500,000. The lower 15 miles
of the Passaio are tidal and have been Improved for naviga-
tion with projeet depths ranging from 10 feet near the upper
end to 50 feet near the mouth. The lower 26 miles of the
river from Psterson to the mouth is densely urbanized and
highly industrialized.

-------
3.
The principal tributary of the Passaic, the Pomp toil
River, joins tha Passaic at Two Bridges, 33 miles above
the mouth of main stream, a flood control reservoir
is proposed which would impound the Passaic and the Pompton
immedlately above their confluence and would inundate a
large amount of marsh and meadow land.
Water Supply
The Passeio and its tributaries furnish much of the
water supply for the metropolitan area of northeastern New
Jersey. There are four principal developments, as follows
supply
3pu roe
Consumption,
M.G* D.
Newark
Jersey City
Passaio Valley Water
Commission
North Jersey Distriot
Water supply Commission
Pequannock R.
Hooka way R.
Passaic R.
Waneque R.
57
52
10
69
All of these supplies are intorconnected to some extent.
All are municipally owned, the Passaic Valley Commission
by Peterson, Passaic and Clifton; and the North Jersey Dis-
trict supply by these three municipalities plus Newark,
Kearny, Montclair, Bloomfield and Glen Ridge. Many other
communities are served wholly or in part by these ay stems.
The problem of obtaining adequate supplies of water
for this metropolitan area is a continuing and oooplex one
which has been studied for many years. Many proposals have
been advanced and studied, and the controversies over vari-
ous plans have been bitter. Tfte area is still in need of
additional water. It oould be obtained from the proposed
Two Bridges Reservoir if storage for that purpose were pro-
vided in the reservoir.

-------
4.
Soureea of Pollution
Beoause of the extensive use of 1fce Passaic and its
tributaries as souros of water supply, the attention de-
voted to abating and preventing water pollution has been
greater than usual and most of the wastes angering the streams
above Little Falls (about mile 30) receive a high degree of
treatment and disinfection. As a result, although the popu-
lation density on the 761-square-mile drainage area above
Little Falls is 26J per square mile, the quality of the water
as indicated by standard chemioal and bacteriologioal tests
is fairly good, industrial wastes entering the Whippany and
Petiuannoek Hi vers oause some difficulties, but progress has
been made in reducing pollution from these sources.
The passaio Talley Sewerage Commission includes most
of the coffiaunities along the lower 25 miles of the Passaio.
Its facilities intercept all sanitary sewage and most of the
industrial wastes from the member municipal!ties and dis-
charge the wastes after treatment into Hew York Bay. The
population served by the Passaio Talley Sewerage Commission
is about 1,055,000. The municipalities, East Peterson,
Fairlaw and Hawthorne, with a total population of 26,500,
Are located along this same stretch of the river tint are not
included in the Passaio Talley Sewerage Commission.
The principal tributary of the lower passaio, Saddle
River, enters about 15-1/2 miles above the mouth. It drains
a largely suburban area which includes sons 40,000 population
served by public water supplies but not by public sewer
systems.
Storm drainage and interceptor overflow from ooirt>lned
sewers during storms add a certain amount of putreaeible
matter to the passaio, and a limited amount of industrial
wastes also finds its way to the stream in the lower 25
miles. It has not been possible during this study to make
the detailed studies necessary to arrive at an aoourate figure
as to the magnitude of the waste load reaohing the stream.
Hydroustrie Data
me Passaio River has a comparatively high dry weather
flow for a stream of its sise, considering the large amount
of water diverted for water supply. An analysis of the pub-
lished flow record at Great Falls at Pater son shows the
following:

-------
5.
h'ihimum Minimum Minimum
Frequency Monthly Weekly Daily
	Flow	Flow	Slow
2 year	130	80	40
10 	60	23	10
20 	38	18	3
These figures indicate the small amount of dilution water
available in the lower Passaic.
Laboratory Data
A limited amount of laboratory data is available on
the upper Passaic and its tributaries as a result of sur-
vQrs in 1?42 and 194-3 by the New Jersey State Health Depart-
ment and in 19+4 by Morris K^owles, Ino., consulting engi-
neers to the Passaic Valley water Commission. These data
are primarily of value in connection with this report as an
lndlc at ion of the quality of the water which would be
available at the Two Bridges Reservoir. Long-time records
of water quality are available from the Little Falls plant
of the Passaic Valley Water Commission.
The only available data on the lower Passaic are
routine dissolved oxygen determinations made by the Passftio
Valley Sewerage Commission at nine points on the river from
Paterson to Newark Bay for the oelandar year 1943 and the
first four months of 1946. These data are presented la
Table 1 and indicate that as far downstream as the head of
navigation at the 8th Street Bridge in Passaio the river
was In relatively good condition as regards dissolved oxygen
during the above period. Between Station 1 above Great Falls and
Station 2 at 33rd street in Pateraon the dissolved oxygen ccu-
te nt increased. From there to Station 3 at Market Street in
Paterson, there was a marked decline in D, 0., presumably due
to wastes not discharged to the system of the Passaio Valley
Sewerage Commission. This was followed by a short stretch In
which the dissolved oxygen again increased. In this stretch
the water passed over the Dundee Dam where some oxygen was
added and saddle River entered, bringing some wastes and some
added flow. No dete are available on the quality of this
stream. At Station 4, the 8th Street Bridge in Passtlo, the
stream entered a zone of degradation uhioh mrled in length
depending upon temperature and stream flow conditions. Dur-
ing periods of low temperature, when stream flows were oo-

-------
paratively high, the greatest oxygen deficiency was found
at Station 8, Jackson St*, Newark. During warner weather,
when biochemical oxidation was more rapid and stream flow
generally lower, the warst conditions were found at Station 7,
Clay St., Newark.
This zone of degradation coincides with the navigable
section of the stream. In this Motion, due to the much
larger cross-seotion&l area, the velocity of flow is muoh
lower than in the reaches above the head of navigation. The
reaeration capacity of the stream is closely related to its
velocity and consequently is much lower in the navigable
section than it is upstream. Therefore the dissolved oxy-
gen content falls upon reaching the navigable portion of the
stream. The reduction in velocity has an additional detri-
mental effect by increasing the deposition of organic matter
previously held in suspension. Decomposition of this mater-
ial makes an additional demand on the oxygen resources of
the stream.
During the period for *&ich laboratory data are avail-
able on the lower Passaic, the stream flow was unusually
high. The minimum monthly average flow at Pater son was
6l8 c.f.s., and during the summer months the lowest monthly
ean flow at Pateraon was 956 c.f.s. (June), Even with
these comparatively high flows the dissolved oxygen fell as
low as 2.0 p.p.m., less than 25 per oent ofsaturation.
Present and prospective use of the lower Passaic doe*
not demand a high standard of water quality. The standards
adopted by the Interstate Sanitation Co^usission for Class *B"
waters; that is, waters which are not expected to be used
primarily for recreation, shellfiah culture or developaeat
of fish life, appear to be desirable and practicable ones
for the tidal portion of the Passaic. Although the river
itself is outside the jurisdiction of the Interstate Sanita-
tion Commission, Hewark Bay into hioh the river d is charges
is within the area covered by the oonpaot and its waters are
classified as Class HB." The quality standards for such
waters require a minimum dissolved oxygen oantent of 30 per
cent of saturation. It is desirable that the Paesaio Elver
toe of no worse quality than that required of Newark Bay.

-------
7.
From the laboratory data it is apparent that even with
tha abnormally high flows that prevailed during the summer
of 1945, such a dissolved oxygen content cannot be main-
tained with the present westt load on the stream. On the
other hand, the maintenance of the desired water quality
with the low flows likely to occur during dry years would
probably require not only the removal of all sewage and in-
dustrial wastes but also treatment of much of the urban
storm drainage prior to its entrance into the river.
Under auoh conditions the most economical method of
attaining the required water quality is piobebly by a com-
bination of waste collection and treatment and low-flow
control. Dote mine t ion of precisely which combi nation of
treatment and flow control would result in the lowest over-
all cost, would require the collection and analysis of much
aore data then are available at present.
The amount of flow regulation that would be of value
Is not leas than 1000 c.f.s. If such a flow could be Bain
Gained during the summer months, satisfactory stream condi-
tions could be maintained. However the cost of maintaining
such a flow on so small a river would be too great to be
practicable.
The most economical range of regulated suanier flows
will probably be from 300 to 500 c.f.s. Suoh flows could
be maintained by storing spring runoff for later release
with little or no carry-over storage from one year to the
next. In considering flow regulation for pollution abate-
ment, it is not neoessary that the flow be absolutely de-
pendable as would be required for a public water supply
development. It is not usually economical to design pollu-
tion abatement works against minimum flows likely to occur
less often than once in ten years. Storage regulation
which would provide flows of equal dependability is suffi-
cient for pollution abatement. Flows approximately 70 to
So per cent of the flow of 10-year frequency should be
provided during ell years, however.
Tlie problem of further reducing the pollution load in
the lower Passaic is a oomplex and continuing one. Major
sources of pollution have been eliminated and it is prob-
able that further corrective measures will involve locating
and eliminating individual residual pollution sources wtoioh
are of minor consequence except in the aggregate. Such
cdnor sources may be created from time to time and a oontlnu-

-------
8.
ing corrective efftort ia required, itie cost of correct-
ing pollution from urban storm drainage, presumably with
storm water holding tastes, can be quite high.
Because of the above oonaiderationa, the estimates of
benefits to be derived from flow regulation, based on the
coat of accomplishing similar results by alternative meth-
ods, have been based on cost experience elsewhere. Studies
made in connection with theQhio River Pollution Survey have
provided muoh of the cost data used in making these esti-
mates. These data ren.ected costs as of 1939. A 0 per
cent increase in cost has been allowed to oonform more
nearly to present oost levels. On this basis, regulated
summer flows of the order J00 to 00 c.f4S. will have a
value of approximately $3.00 per o.f.s.-day increase over
the unregulated minimum monthly flow of 60 c.f.a. These
flows should b provided during the months June to Septem-
ber inclusive. Thus a reliable flow of JOQ c.fs. would
have a value of $87,000 per year, and 400 o.f.a. would have
an annual value of $122,000.
It is believed that these benefit estimates are con-
servatively low. It is not unlikely that a more detailed
study of the problem would show that the costs of pollution
abatement by collection and treatment of the wastesvould
be higher in this area than in those from which the basic
data used were obtained, on account of the greater density
of population and greater coaqp laxity of the problem generally.
If and when it is determined that inclusion of provision
of storage for low-flow regulation in the Two Bridges Reser-
voir is Justified, it is recommended that the problem be re-
viewed in detail and that additional laboratory data be
collected in order to determine more exaotly the moat desir-
able regulated flow and possible monthly variations that may
be justified in this regulated flow.

-------
?&Me 1 - Pnsale Kiver - Dissolved Ox"
|5tg .l.T.llc 25-
IKcT-ride Ave.
Eats iPaterson
as .Cxy
Tista.2,r.ile 20.9|ita.J,m! le 1H.9 |3tSTI+,r.llc .0 i-ti,. 5 .rrile 11. 6 ! 31n . t ,r.ile
I.esults, Fitters on to Mouth, Jan ., 191+5 - April,19.
TT
i TF| ppm
1?t	f	
Jen. |32 11; .U-
Feb. j 32 I	
St.
P&terson	
TiTlas.Oxjr.
jr- m0p
March
April
Mhj
June
July
Aug.
Sept.
Oct.
Nov.
Dec
Jan.
Ket.
March
April
1+5
III
73-2
75-2
75-2
70.7
?5-2
C9.0
JJ.2
34-2
Jfc-7
1+9-2
:55-0
11.0
2-7
fi-3
7-1+
V5
6.5
7-35
9.0
9-1+5
15.05
91.6
50.6
85-7
83. 1+
M
84-3
82.6
94-3
12 ?
10. t
32
32-7
60.6
73.7
76.2
73.0
71.0
1+9.6
ppn
13.
12
:l 111:
!.'*.rket f^t.
P&terson
|Dis3.0xy. |
7_F1 ppm 1 ' >
7132
jSth Lt.
jprassic
Ihutherford
/>
TF
I
91.3
79-3
__L
10.35 qo.5
5-1 IS5.7
i
9.25
8.95
6.2
7-75
1:1
9.6
10.3
33.5 12.1+5
34.1+
35-7
19.2
55-7
15.7
12.1+5
10.7
11.1
33.6
52
	

91.9
89.8
I+5.6
59-5
60.6
10.5
2-9
8.5
35:t
91+-7
91.6
33.7
93-2
72-5
76.0
73.2
71.2
7.0
in
7.3
m
iu
92.1+
90.I
56.7
1+9.6
3.9
9.8
85.2
85.7
87.2
33-2
13.05
91+-5
96.9
90.0
3U-1+
36.0
13.1+
12.0
m
94-0
1+9-2
55-7
l
I:!5
95.3
92.2
Diss ."Cxy.
pp~' i f>
r --
115.0 ;38.9
'.utherford	
TM ss.Cxv,
TF
vc . R'jtger.
leville
32
32.5
13.I+
92.2
32-5
45-1+
59-7
&0.6
11.7
9.6
9.2
97-1
95-1+
92.1
1+4.6
tq.O
61.0
72.7
76-5
73.2
74-0
If
If
87.5
Bi
96.5
72.0
76.0
73-7
71.7
58.0
50.2
9-7
10.4
91+.6
91-7
57-7
50.2
33.5
13.9
97-3
33-5
34-U
36.2
13.8
12.85
97-8
93-s
31+.1+
35-7
56.2
11.0
10.2
96.9
97-1
1+9-0
55-2
i fr
T t-'Pl ppn
12.9 I88.3I32 !12.8
12.} I8i4.9lj2.5lll.2
S-.vXT.
r
10.8
3.25
8.1
8 ^
8i!i
81.5
59'0
61.2
10 .8
t>  95
7.25
t.l
48.9
53-5
57.0
70.1
72.0
76 .0
73-5
70.7
3.05
2.65
I'M
l'
3.85
63.1
73.1
c 7.0
50.0
; .0
7.95
13-3
93-2
33-5
13-3
13.3
11-7
91+-5
Sl-9
34-7
36.2
12.8
11.5
lo.i+5
8.15
91-3
76.6
i+7.6
5I+.0
10.2
7.0
3"tTT?;Hrre3rr
CIsy i t.
:op
37-5132
77-2|32-1
3c.R
3.5
73-5
34-8
IS:
52.0
70.2
93-1
51.u
B* c
87.1
64.9
59-2
61.8
71.7
76.5
73-5
71.0
^8.7
50.2
55- =
3^ -7
50.0
53-7
ijj S3. Oxv .
PPm | 3
IO.95175.O
9-75167.4
$ta.b,rr, lie 4.2	I Sts ,9 ,~;ile
Jackson it.	i^outr. et
?,"e*ark	;Nev.ark Pay
'Siss.Cxy'.	1		
TF
?F
10. ^
5-7
7.05
2.0
2-3
4-35
3-55
12. 1+5
11.S5
10.1
9-45
6.1+5
85-3
56.1
71.9
22.8
27.0
50.1
1+0.1
39.1
59.8
57.3
31+. 9
73-1
63.4
59-6
f4
0F
32 iio-55 T2"?,-
?J5! -.-5 j 61.S j 53.5
15.2 110.1 iS =.611+6.<=
59.51 5-2 151-6157.1+
61.Bj 6.7 163.3153.0
T^TS
PPm
12.75iS7.3
11.3 179-1
i
9.-1. "7Q.ii
Lb 164.1
7.15169.9
Flow at
Paterson
c.f,0 .
I
76.5
72.7
72.0
60.0
50.8
Jl+.O
35 -4
*7.0
+fO
>14.-2
c .4.
5.. 2
*. 
s ' /
3.9
6.1
12.3
ii.S
9-2
8.9^
6-75
22.4j7J.5
2e.2 j7&.2
59-3I75.2
44-3172.7
2-3
3-15
2.9
3-9
27.0
37-1+
^s1
m+. &
956
3121+
1617
1362
j.6
54.3
60.0
1+7.5
5-7
7.9
56.9
67.7
61+1
1395
80.9
32.0
13.5 '
92.3
2506
l:o
5?-
3H.0
13.1
10.55
9?-9
7^-3
2107
6l6
Hi
46.0
51+.6
kV
75-7
76.1+
1663
773
1005
882
3057
1299
21+74
~ Laboratory data furnished by Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission. Flow data from U. S. Oeological Survey.

-------
0taU of Npvm SprBpy
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
J. LYNN MKHAFFEY. M.D.. DiHICTOR
TRENTON 7
April 25, 19^7
IN RfPLY RtPEH TO 6F.Jt.siA
Mr. H. W. Streeter
Sanitary Engineer Director
Officer in Charge
U. S. Public Health Service
Water and Sanitation Investigations
East Third and Kilgour Streets
Cincinnati 2, Ohio
Dear Sir:
This is to acknowledge the receipt of and to thank you for your letter
dated April 7 19^7* together with a copy of a draft of a report recently
completed by your office on the Passaic River.
The aforesaid report has been examined by the interested engineers 
this Department, and based upon that examination, the following comments
are offered. The comments are numbered to correspond with your enumera-
tion of "Conclusions".
1.	We concur
2.	We concur
	We concur (See also comment below)
.	See comnent below
5. See comment below
o. It is assumed that this conclusion relates to the
area controlled by the Passaic Valley Sewerage
Commission; therefore, see comment below
7. No comnent
With reference to conclusions Nos, 5 t* 6 Inclusive, please be advised
that the Passaic River, from the Great Palls at Paterson to the mouth
f the river is controlled, in so far as pollution is concerned, by the
Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission. The State Department of Health has
no Jurisdiction over stream pollution, the construction of sewer lines,
r the construction of sewage treatment plants along the aforesaid lower
Part of the Passaic River and the tributaries entering in that district,
deluding the Saddle River, to which you refer on page 1+ of your report.
It la appreciated, in consideration of the last paragraph of your report

-------
Mr. H. W. Streeter	-2-	April 25, 19^7
that the proposed Two Bridges reservoir has not been planned in sufficient
detail to supply all the information desired before a final report can
be compiled. When this information is available, this Department will be
interested in knowing the extent of the areas to be flooded, including
existing sewage and industrial waste treatment plants which may be affected.
I trust that these comments are in accord with your request. Your coopera-
tion in submitting the report for study and comment is appreciated.
Very truly yours,
J. Lynn Mahaffey, M. D,
Director of Health

7  *
By: H. P. Croft
Chief Engineer
6eJ+si

-------