Flooding is bad for business. Luckily, solutions are coming to communities with combined sewer systems that would boost the health of residents and businesses by upgrading stormwater and wastewater infrastructure. Use this new outreach brochure to inform small businesses about the combined sewer overflow (CSO) issue, how it impacts their business, what’s being done, and how much it will cost.  

The brochure designed by MnM Consulting and MOKOJUMBIE implements graphics and text to describe the problem, solutions, and funding options that municipalities are considering to pay for sewer upgrades. The estimated costs to upgrade New Jersey’s combined sewer systems range from $2.4 to $3.4 billion.  

Image courtesy of MnM Consulting

The brochure demonstrates how each option will impact residential and business rate-payers. For example, it explains that “some towns will raise sewer rates for existing customers for the next 20-40 years. This means residents and small business owners will pay more every year for stormwater improvements and maintenance.”

Image courtesy of MnM Consulting

Option 2 illustrates how a stormwater fee is a more equitable way to charge property owners for hard surfaces that burden our sewer systems with stormwater runoff. A fee based on paved surfaces would ensure that all property owners who are contributing stormwater to our overburdened sewer systems pay a fee based on the amount of stormwater runoff they contribute to a system. Currently, large party owners are not paying their fair share. If we do not correct this, residential rate-payers will disproportionately pay for the sewer upgrades.

Image courtesy of MnM Consulting

Option 3 shows how a blanket increase through property taxes would result in residents, small businesses, and warehouses paying the same increase despite differences in how much they contribute to the problem.

Small business owners are urged to take action by visiting SewageFreeNJ.org/ NoStatusQuo and taking a short survey so we can connect them with local decision-makers, the New Jersey Stormwater Utility Resource Center, and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Stormwater Utility Guidance website. Check out all the resources that the Sewage-Free Streets and Rivers campaign has developed to assist you with engaging residents and small business owners in shaping their communities’ solutions to reduce localized flooding and the raw sewage dumped into rivers and streams due to CSOs.

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