Wastewater Overview and Responsibilities

In 1972, the Cape May County Municipal Utilities Authority (“CMCMUA” or “Authority”) was created by the Cape May County Board of Chosen Freeholders. The Authority, and its appointed board of commissioners, was entrusted with the task of designing, constructing and operating, efficient and cost effective wastewater treatment facilities to respond to the passage of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendment of 1972. This Amendment mandated the abatement of pollution of the nation’s water resources. These new regional treatment facilities would replace numerous outdated municipal treatment plants which discharged effluent into back bay areas and contributed to the degradation of estuaries and the marine environment.

The prompt response of both the Cape May County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Authority to this federal mandate resulted in the CMCMUA being able to secure more than $183 million in State and federal grants to pay for more than percent of the capital costs for the regional wastewater treatment projects constructed by the Authority. The construction phase for the four (4) regional systems, which include Ocean City, Cape May, Seven Mile Beach-Middle and Wildwood Lower, began in 1979 with the first facility completed in 1982 and the fourth plant finished in 1988. The CMCMUA’s regional wastewater system also includes a sewage sludge composting facility that began operating in 1985.

With the implementation of the CMCMUA’s regional wastewater treatment system, the water quality of back bay areas significantly improved. This regional system has been expanded and maintained by the CMCMUA as needed to serve the residents, businesses and visitors in our area. This system has resulted in clean back bay and ocean waters which are swimmable, fishable and essential for marine habitats and our tourism economy to thrive.

The CMCMUA is responsible for providing 31 million gallons per day in wastewater treatment and disposal capacity for all or part of 14 of the 16 municipalities located in Cape May County. The municipalities serviced by each region are listed below:

Name of CMCMUA Regional Wastewater Treatment
Municipalities Serviced
(By Regional Wastewater Service Area)
Ocean City Regional WTF Ocean City
Seven Mile / Middle Regional
Portions of Middle Township (north)
Sea Isle City
Stone Harbor
Garden State Parkway (Dennis Twp.)
Wildwood / Lower Regional
North Wildwood
West Wildwood
Wildwood Crest
Portions of Middle Township (southeast)
Portions of Lower Township (Shawcrest and Willow Drive areas)
Cape May Regional WTF Cape May City
West Cape May
Cape May Point

The CMCMUA utilizes a system of pump stations and force mains to transport raw wastewater collected in local sewage systems to one of the Authority’s four regional facilities for treatment and disposal. The Seven Mile / Middle Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility is the designated disposal location for septage haulers in our region. The CMCMUA’s also operates a sludge/biosolids composting facility and a wastewater reuse program at its Seven Mile / Middle Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility. The CMCMUA is responsible for compliance with USEPA grant restrictions which prohibit sewer connection in environmentally sensitive areas of our service region and is also responsible for endorsing applications for NJDEP Treatment Works Approvals (TWAs).

Additional information regarding TWAs, CMCMUA’s wastewater reuse project, wastewater treatment service areas, USEPA grant conditions and process for mapping revisions and mapping waivers can be found on this website under the “Wastewater Treatment Program” listing on the “Forms and DocumentPage”.

Last Modified March 17, 2017, 10:35 a.m.