Ocean County Press Release
Ocean County Maintains Clean Environment

TOMS RIVER – Sitting among the garage bays, salt sheds and various facilities at Ocean County's Garage on Chestnut Street, here, is a 5,400 square foot building that is helping the environment while playing a major role in maintaining the county's trucks, buses and other pieces of heavy equipment.

Completed just a few months ago, the county's first drive through wash system for large vehicles can handle the cleaning of up to 96 trucks per day. The truck wash is designed to provide a 360-degree cleaning of the vehicles, which acts as preventative maintenance.

"This facility also comes with environmental benefits that are so important to this county," said Freeholder James F. Lacey, who serves as liaison to the county's Road Department and Vehicle Services Department. "We are keeping the debris that is washed off the trucks out of storm drains and therefore playing an active role in maintaining our bays and waterways.

"This is all part of the county's efforts to manage stormwater and runoff so it does not have a negative impact on our environment," Lacey said.

The Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders recently approved $1.2 million in funding for the construction of another vehicle wash facility.

"We are a big county with more than 630 square miles," Lacey noted. "It makes sense to have these wash facilities at our road department garages throughout the county."

In Plumsted Township, a new 1,125 square-foot building on the site of the county Road Department garage houses a wash pad where county trucks and equipment based at that facility are being cleaned. As part of that new cleaning system, all the rinse water will be treated and re-used. A biological recirculation system will remove all the organics and oil from the rinse water.

The building costs about $450,000 and the county awarded a contract to Gaul Construction Inc., Burlington.

A truck wash pad has also been constructed at the Ocean County Vehicle Services building in the county's government complex in Stafford Township. New facilities also are planned for the county's road department garages in Lakewood and Lacey townships.

The Chestnut Street facility uses a system that recycles more than 80 percent of the wastewater. The facility also includes a wash pad where heavily soiled vehicles can be thoroughly rinsed before going through the truck wash.

Through a series of pipes and drains and basins and filters, the water used to clean the trucks is captured in a system that recycles it.

"The system helps to reduce our environmental footprint by recycling water and reducing the amount of pollutants that enter our stormwater systems," Lacey said. "In addition, washing our vehicles helps to protect our investment and prolongs the life and performance of our vehicles."

Lacey noted the county has also offered the use of the facilities to its municipalities.

"We are all working to make sure we have a clean environment and to meet state stormwater management requirements," Lacey said. "Many municipalities are looking at tight budgets this year and we believe that sharing this service could help."

Several Ocean County departments have been working to expand the county's efforts to reduce pollutants entering the county's waterways.

"Engineering, roads, planning, solid waste as well as vehicle services are all acting in concert to make sure we have the best plan in place," Lacey said. "We want to make certain what we are doing is the ideal way to help control non-point source pollution."

The Ocean County Road Department now has a crew of 10 workers dedicated to stormwater management throughout the county.

"From street sweeping to truck washing to building retention basins, all these efforts will help make a difference in maintaining our equipment, roads and facilities all while taking care of the environment," Lacey said.

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