1. Wastewater Recharge: The existing three supply wells No. 3,4, and 5, for the City of Cape May are screened in the Cohansey Aquifer. In the area of Southern Cape May, the Cohansey Aquifer is 125' to 175' thick, and the top of the aquifer is approximately 200' to 250' below ground surface.
During the pre-development period (around 1890), water levels in the Cohansey were above sea level. However, a cone of depression has formed that is between 20' and 25' below sea level on average as a result of current withdrawals by Cape May City. The cone of depression exceeds 40' below sea level in the summer months when withdrawal is at its peak. As a result, saltwater contamination is advancing inland at an estimated rate of 221 feet per year and will eventually effect all of the area's wells.
Wastewater recharge is an alternative to conserve potable water supplies by using treated wastewater effluent to recharge aquifers. Wastewater reuse is an alternative to conserve potable water supplies by using treated wastewater effluent to recharge aquifers. Wastewater reuse is an alternative to conserve potable water supplies by using treated wastewater effluent for the purpose of irrigating agricultural or recreational areas. Presently, there are no recreational users in the City or private wells within the study area. Also there are no major agricultural users connected to the city's water supply.
Based on the limited use of irrigation, wastewater reuse for irrigation does not appear to be a cost effective option for the City of Cape May.
2. No Action:
This alternative is not practical.
3. Conjunctive Use of Freshwater:
This alternative calls for drilling two new wells at the neighboring Township. (Lower Twp) to the Holly Beach and Estuarine Sand Aquifer. These wells will cover the increase in the water demand in the summertime. However, this alternative does not address the issue of the salt water intrusion at the Cohansey Aquifer.
Therefore, this alternative is considered to be short term solution.