Noise posing a public nuisance for Blason Woods residents

A constant hum is permeating to the homes adjacent to the Kings Highway Water Treatment plant.

For the residents of the Blason Woods development, a constant hum coming from the nearby Kings Highway Water Treatment Plant is the 24/7 background noise to their lives since the plant was upgraded. According to some residents, the sound is affecting their quality of life.

“There are literally people there who [when] you meet them on the street and talk about it, who are literally feeling as though they’re having health issues because the sound is making them crazy,” said resident and former mayor John Button.

Residents of Blason Woods approached council at its most recent meeting to inform it of what they’re experiencing and inquire as to how the township plans to address the noise and light coming from the plant.

Tom McBride said he and his fellow residents of Blason Woods have three main concerns regarding the plant: noise, lighting and aesthetics. He said the ever-present noise and lighting are causing a public nuisance to residents whose homes border the plant.

“We knew there was going to be some reconstruction of [the plant],” said resident Deanna Button. “We had no idea it was going to be as big as it turned out to be and as intrusive.”

Deanna said the first problem was the lighting. She said the lights coming from the plant shine brightly all day and night. Then, when the plant started to get up and running, a noise started emanating from the plant that has not stopped since.

Resident Bill Citerone played a recording of the noise for council that was taken outside of a home on Foxwood Drive. His wife, Heidy Citerone, said when they moved into Blason more than a year ago, the community was quiet.

“Now we have what is tantamount to a loud blower going all day long, all night long — 24/7,” Heidy said.

Township Manager Thomas Merchel said he has spent time walking around the development, and the sound appears to be coming from the aerators at the plant.

Heidy inquired as to whether council had an environmental impact study done prior to the plant upgrades.

“Seeing that it was there, I doubt there was any environmental impact study,” said Councilman Michael Locatell.

Locatell said the engineer’s primary focus for the project was how to deliver clean water. He said sound is a specialized science, and he thinks the township will have to bring someone in who deals directly with sound issues to tell it how to mitigate the problem.

He said the township is trying to address these issues as quickly as possible. He said a fence and plantings will go up around the water treatment facility in the fall. Merchel said they’re looking into different lighting models for the facility.

Locatell said he’s hopeful they can find a professional to address the sound issue in the coming weeks, but he said can’t provide any timetable on how long it may take to remedy the sound problem until an expert does an analysis.

“I know this is a burning priority for everyone in Blason Woods,” Locatell said. “Unfortunately we have been tackling other issues up until this point in time.”

Heidy said what the residents want at this point is a continuous dialogue. She said they would like to be kept abreast of when the township has spoken with an engineer, what they’re proposing and how long it will take.

Merchel said if the development appoints a point person, he will be sure to keep him or her in the loop.

The next meeting of Moorestown Township Council will take place on Monday, Aug. 6, at 7:30 p.m. in Town Hall.