Court to Review Water Company’s Grant
Approval by the Board of Conservation and Development of the application of the Elizabethtown Water Company and its allied concerns for permission to divert 20,000,000 gallons of water daily from the Raritan and Millstone rivers, at or near their junction, has been attacked in the Supreme Court of New Jersey by the City of New Brunswick, and Justice Bergen has allowed a writ of certiorari to review the action of the Conservation Department. At the public hearing prior to the granting of the approval much opposition was advanced by the city and several interested parties, according to the local press.
Under the acts of 1859 and 1865 it is argued that the city was authorized to divert water from the Raritan and empowered to construct a dam across the stream, and under the act of 1875 the city purchased all of the property and assets of the New Brunswick Water Company, since which time the complainant has been supplying the needs of its inhabitants, Highland Park and some industrial plants in the township of New Brunswick, consuming daily at least 7,000,000 gallons. It is contended that in ten years the daily consumption will reach 14,000,000 gallons. The original supply was obtained by the city from Lawrence Brook, which flows into the Raritan cast of New Brunswick. This supply is, however, under present conditions, held to be entirely inadequate, so that the city is now pumping from the Raritan River at the rate of 3,000,000 gallons daily to supplement the supply obtained from Lawrence Brook. It is declared the city is immediately confronted with the necessity of enlarging its present supply. Because of the view of the more economic and greater advantage of the Raritan River supply a filter plant was erected at great expense to the city, it is set forth. That owing to the distinctly freshet characteristics of the river the natural flow of the stream varies greatly, is another contention made by the city. Asher Atkinson, engineer for the city, declared in an affidavit that it was his belief the proposed diversion by the Elizabethtown Company would result in the taking of water from the river which New Brunswick had a right to use and further that the diversion would materially interfere with the city supply.