sinkholeA sewer main break in Monmouth Beach is going to cost Sea Bright and Rumson. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)


Last month, a sinkhole was discovered on Seaview Avenue in Monmouth Beach.

The Two Rivers Water Reclamation Authority, after weeks of investigating and minor fixes, couldn’t quite tell what the impact would be.

But after some minor interim repairs this week, “the real solution has come to light,” Executive Director Michael Gianforte said.

And the real solution is going to cost Sea Bright and Rumson.

“It’s a critical construction project,” Gianforte said.

The authority will have to replace a section of the 27-inch pipe, which partially dissolved and led to the sinkhole that was discovered on February 2.

Gianforte notified Sea Bright and Rumson of the problem this week after learning that the best fix — and a permanent one — will cost about $300,000 between the two boroughs.

But, he said, “we’re still at a point where we won’t know until we get that pipe in the ground, we don’t know what the total cost will be.”

The pipe, made of reinforced concrete, dissolved at the top, due to exposure to hydrogen sulfide, a corrosive byproduct of sewage, Gianforte said. Rather than go with concrete again, he said the authority will install a fiberglass pipe, which is more durable.

“This lining should make it so we never have to go back down into that pipe,” he said.

Both boroughs, which are serviced by the pipe that leads to the authority’s treatment plant in Monmouth Beach, will be able to pay the authority back over time for the repairs, Gianforte said.

Although Sea Bright Councilman Read Murphy suggested that it was unfair to split the bill equally with Rumson, since Sea Bright pumps out far less than its neighbor, the council accepted Gianforte’s fix because it is bound by an agreement with the authority made in 1965.

The new pipe is being delivered next week, and Gianforte expects the work to be done within a month.

Service will not be interrupted to any of the towns, he said.

“Our goal was to have no interruptions of service for anybody,” Gianforte said. “We’ve maintained service throughout, and we will.”