Date of Award
Degree of Civil Engineer
This treatise is divided into three separate parts, each portraying a particular phase of the Rahway Valley improvement. Although not directly connected with the Joint Meeting, the fact that I served as Assistant City Engineer in Rahway during 1931 and 1932 naturally presented to me the opportunity of attending meetings and studying the project especially as it pertained to the City of Rahway.
Part one is a general review of the activities of the Rahway Valley Joint Meeting, both prior to and after the completion of the trunk sewer. The second portion reveals some of the intricate problems evolving in joint propositions of this nature, where arises the difficulty of determing what provisions should be incorporated in the contract to afford equally beneficial conditions to all participating municipalities. The third part is a discussion of the proposed scheme of treatment and the various units making up the disposal works.
To one not acquainted with this particular project, it might seem, after a perusal of this report, that Rah way was somewhat unreasonable in its procedure and asked for privileges to which it was not entitled. But it must be kept in mind that if the communities it the upper part of the valley had failed to build a trunk line to the tidal waters below the City of Rahway, they no doubt would have been compelled by the State Board of Health to erect elaborate treatment plants which would provide effluents highly purified so as not to contaminate the Rahway River which is used as a source of water supply for domestic use in Rahway. Without question, the program adopted was by far the more economical for these municipalities. On the other hand, Rahway was in a position to handle the situation entirely independent of the other towns, inasmuch as a much smaller trunk would have been required and the disposal plant would have been comparatively inexpensive as its effluent would have been discharged into tidal waters not being used as a domestic water supply.
Just why Rahway decided not to follow this latter course was a matter of choice based upon the presumption that these geographical conditions favoring Rahway would be considered in the contract and that the proposed improvement would not be delayed by dissension among the members of the Joint Meeting. The comprehensive analysis of the conditions previous to the adoption of the Supplemental Contract, disclosed many interesting facts to bear out the contention of Rahway that it was placed in a predicament entirely unsatisfactory when measured by the advantages available to the other municipalities, and consequently Rahway had no alternative than to proceed to demand, in the interests of its taxpayers, provisions in the new contract to insure a more equitable standing. This unfortunate state of affairs was one of the chief reasons for the delay in the completion of the project.
While it is not my intention to condemn such joint proposals nor to Imply that Rahway was intentionally placed in such an unenviable position, nevertheless, I have come to the conclusion that in order to insure the consummation of such improvements to a satisfactory and economical termination with as little delay as possible, the most essential feature is the establishment of an unquestionably equitable basis of apportionment of cost formulated after a careful study of all pertinent factors involving each municipality individually. It is with this purpose of bringing to light this matter that I have included the second part of this thesis showing the consequences of this case as they related to the City of Rahway.
Hedeman, Fred A., "The Rahway valley trunk sewer and its relations to, and effect upon the city of Rahway" (1934). Theses. 1554.