Residents asked to help with mosquito control

Remove Standing Water from Your Property

Morris County Residents Asked to Join the Battle Against MosquitoesA very wet spring created an environment in many parts of Morris County that is quite conducive to the breeding of mosquitoes, which are causing a major nuisance for residents.

This Spring, county mosquito control teams tackled heavy mosquito breeding areas via trucks, ATVs and back-mounted sprayers.

Residents in all 39 Morris County towns also are being asked to help out in this battle. Between what seem-to-be constant rain showers, county mosquito control officials are asking you to thoroughly check the outside of your house, apartment, condominium, or wherever you live in Morris County and drain sources of standing water to eliminate areas where mosquitoes can breed.

Morris County Residents Asked to Join the Battle Against Mosquitoes

Empty water from planters

Try to eliminate all sources of standing water, such as planters, gutters, old tires, wheelbarrows, clogged gutters and other sources of standing water that can breed mosquitoes.

“If everyone would take steps around their own homes to eliminate standing water, it could make a very big difference, reducing the number of mosquitoes by many hundreds of thousands, if not millions, where you live,’’ said Mosquito Division Superintendent Kristian McMorland.

The Morris County Division of Mosquito Control has been active for months preparing for this year’s mosquito battle, but you can make a difference when it comes to mosquitoes around where you live.

“It’s important to remove or clean or repair anything that can collect rain or sprinkler water – such as clogged gutters, old car tires, wheelbarrows, planters, trash can covers, birdbaths, old tarps, or unused swimming or wading pools,’’ said McMorland. “Even just a bit of standing water can produce a huge number of mosquitoes that can have a negative impact on your quality of life.’’

The water in a wheelbarrow can produce enough mosquitoes to infest your entire neighborhood.

The most common backyard species of mosquito travels only about thousand feet from where they are spawned. Mosquitoes spend their juvenile life stage in the aquatic environment and will go from egg to adult in about one week during the summer. So removing standing water near your home can have a dramatic impact on your mosquito population.

In addition to the nuisance of mosquitoes, they also bring the possibility of mosquito borne diseases, such as West Nile virus, which is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito.

“Our county team does a great job of working to battle mosquitoes in some of the toughest breeding grounds in the county but they need your help when it comes to making a difference in your yard or neighborhood,’’ said Freeholder John Cesaro, liaison to the County Mosquito Control Division. “What steps you take, or don’t take, can affect families living all around you.’’

Mosquitoes require standing water for 7 days to complete their development.

Steps you can take to reduce mosquito populations include:

  • Morris County Residents Asked to Join the Battle Against MosquitoesAt least once a week, empty water from flowerpots, pet food and water dishes, birdbaths, swimming pool covers, buckets, barrels, and cans.
  • Check for clogged rain gutters and clean them out.
  • Recycle discarded tires, and remove other items that could collect water.
  • Be sure to check for containers or trash in places that may be hard to see, such as under bushes or under your home.

Look very carefully around your property for anything that could hold water in which mosquitoes can lay eggs. If your home is under construction, make sure standing water is not collecting on tarps or in any receptacles.

Additional tips on how to limit mosquitoes on your property include:

  • Drill holes in the bottom and elevate recycling containers that are left outdoors;
  • Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish. Water gardens are fashionable but become major mosquito producers if they are allowed to stagnate;
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, including those that are not being used. An untended swimming pool can produce enough mosquitoes to result in neighborhood-wide complaints;
  • Be aware mosquitoes may even breed in the water that collects on pool covers;
  • Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers that have accumulated on your property.

It is also a good time now to check screens in windows and doors and make any necessary repairs to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.

For more details on mosquitoes, visit: https://morriscountynj.gov/mosquito/info/

Also, check out the following videos for advice on dealing with mosquitoes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_ekfQ-F4F4 or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiQXLZnU7lA

Prescription Drug Disposal Event Sat. April 28

On April 28th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Chester Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its 15th opportunity in seven years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your pills for disposal to Chester Police Department at 1 Parker Road, Chester, NJ 07930. The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches. If you can not make the event we have a MedReturn Collection box in the police headquarters lobby that can be utilized by Chester residents.

Well Water Testing Available to Chester Area Residents

This spring, Chester Township and Chester Borough will team up with Raritan Headwaters to offer well testing at an affordable cost. Residents can purchase water sample collection kits on Saturday, April 7th from 9:00 a.m. to noon at The Barn at Highlands Ridge Park at 100 North Road. Water samples must then be dropped off on Monday, April 9th from 6:30-10:00 a.m. at The Barn. Test results will be available two weeks later.

Unlike public drinking water systems, private wells are not required by law to be regularly checked for contamination before the water is sent to the tap.

Raritan Headwaters is a nonprofit watershed conservation organization working to protect and preserve the public’s access to safe, clean water that is swimmable, fishable and most importantly, drinkable. Eighty percent of the residents of this region – about 320,000 people – obtain their drinking water through wells.

Well water pollutants found in the region include coliform bacteria, nitrate, arsenic, iron, radon and volatile organic compounds. Sources of contamination include failing septic systems, chemical fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and naturally-occurring contaminants like arsenic. Water may also become contaminated with lead and copper as it travels through older pipes in the home.

Raritan Headwaters offers a “basic kit” for coliform bacteria and nitrate for $60. Residents may also test for other potential contaminants at an additional cost.

Staff members at RHA are available to advise citizens who are uncertain about which tests to order and to review individual results after testing is complete. More information on the tests we offer can be found at www.testmywell.org. Testing is performed by a private state certified laboratory and results are confidential.

The Community Well Testing program was established in 1974, allowing RHA to monitor the health of our region’s groundwater supply for over four decades. Raritan Headwaters recently completed a 30-year trend analysis of well water tests result in the region, which showed an increase in arsenic levels in several towns as well as slight increases in coliform bacteria and nitrate concentrations.

“Your private well is an important investment that is best protected by regular check-ups to ensure a reliable and safe source of drinking water for you and your family,” said Mara Tippett, well test manager for RHA.

Residents who aren’t able to take advantage of the Chester’s Community Well Test event can contact Tippett to arrange to pick up a test kit at RHA’s Bedminster or Flemington office. She can be contacted at 908-234-1852, ext. 401 or welltesting@raritanheadwaters.org.

For more information about Raritan Headwaters and its programs and preserves, go to www.raritanheadwaters.org.

Radon Detection Kits Available

The Chester Borough Health Department is pleased to announce the availability of radon detection canisters for residents of Chester Borough. To obtain your radon canister, please visit the Chester Borough Health Department at 50 North Road during the hours of 9 am to 2 pm. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. The cost is $10, cash or check made out to Bernards Township.

Flu Shots offered on Dec. 12th

The Bernards Township Health Department has scheduled a flu shot clinic for Tuesday, December 12th from 3:30 pm to 6:00 pm. The clinic will be held at the Bernards Township Community Center located at 289 South Maple Ave., Basking Ridge, NJ 07920. This clinic is open to those 4 years old through adults and no appointment is needed. All flu shots are quadrivalent vaccine which combats four flu viruses.

The cost of the flu shot is $25 for residents and $35 for non-residents. The flu shots are also available for no charge for those with a valid Medicare Part B card. Participants should consult with their doctor before receiving the flu vaccine. Clinical services are provided by the Visiting Nurse Association of Somerset Hills.

Parents should note that New Jersey law requires that children up to 59 months of age attending any licensed child-care center or pre-school facility must receive at least one dose of influenza vaccine between September 1st and December 31st of each year. To assist parents in obtaining this vaccination for their pre-school child, the Bernards Township Health Department has scheduled our Seasonal Flu Shot clinic to include children who are age 4 and older in addition to administering flu shots to adults.

For additional information, call the Bernards Township Health Department at (908) 204-2520.

The Bernards Township Health Department is the contractual health agency for Bernards Township, Bernardsville Borough, Chester Borough, Long Hill Township, Mendham Borough, and Peapack and Gladstone Borough.

Ambulance Services

From Chester First Aid Squad President Cassandra Cline:

As many of you already know the First Aid Squad (FAS) has been utilizing Atlantic Ambulance for almost a year now for our daytime calls when volunteers were unavailable. Meaning, if squad members cannot get to a call, Atlantic would support us by responding to the call. This was done in an effort to provide quicker response times to the members of the community. Most of our members have full-time jobs which prevents them from running calls during the work day. Many years ago, Chester was a one income family community with people working in town. This is not the case in 2017. We recognize the need to put the people of Chester’s needs before our own. We want to make sure the community is afforded excellent care, along with quick response times. This in no way, lessens or negates the heart and soul of our volunteers. We are still the same highly trained and dedicated volunteers you know and respect. At this time we need help making sure we continue with a high level of care, Atlantic will help us achieve this. We are still volunteering, we are still training, and we are still available for the community. We do not plan to go anywhere!

To be able to better serve the community during the daytime hours, the FAS is testing the following plan for a TRIAL PERIOD OF 3-6 MONTHS-

*Atlantic Ambulance will be stationed in Chester. This will allow them to respond to Chester calls Monday-Friday, 5:45am-7pm.
-The first and second calls out will be handled by Atlantic, should a third call go out volunteers will be activated.
*The FAS will handle calls after 7pm and on weekends.
*Atlantic does bill for their services which is covered by many insurance companies. By federal law, they cannot change your deductible if you have one. If you do not have insurance at all, Atlantic can work with you on managing their fee.

The squad is trying to see if this system better serves the community. We will re-evaluate this system each month.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via our website.

If you live in Chester and are able to join the squad as an EMT, please reach out to us via our website to join. We love to have new members!! Especially daytime hours!

Thank you,
Cassandra Cline
President

Radon Detection Canisters Available

The Bernards Township Health Department has radon detection canisters available for Chester Borough residents in single-family homes who would like to test their homes for radon gas. The kits are $10 each, and must be picked up at their office at 262 South Finley Avenue, Basking Ridge, NJ.

Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that comes from the breakdown of naturally occurring uranium in soil and rock. Radon gas moves up through the soil and finds its way into homes through cracks in the foundation and openings through pumps, pipes, and drains. Studies have shown that prolonged exposure to radon may cause lung tissue damage in a way that can eventually lead to lung cancer. Any home might have elevated levels of radon even if neighboring homes do not. Testing your home is an easy method of detecting high radon levels, and homes with high levels can be mitigated. Winter is the best time of year for testing radon since it is heating season and all windows and doors are closed.

For more information, contact: ckomline@bernards.org or call (908) 204-3069 or click here.

Openings on Chester Borough Commissions

Chester Borough has openings on the following committees / commissions. Open to Chester Borough residents only.

Shade Tree Commission
Board of Health
Library
Water Resources and Sewer
Environmental/Open Space

If you are interested in serving on any of these committees, please contact Mayor Hoven at jhoven@chesterborough.org

There are also openings on the Recreation Commission. If you are interested, please contact Recreation@ChesterBorough.org

Gas Safety Tips from PSE&G

With the arrival of frigid weather, PSE&G offers tips to help you stay safe from carbon monoxide poisoning, stay warm and save energy.

For safety’s sake: remember that carbon monoxide (CO) is odorless, tasteless and can be deadly. CO poisoning is more common in cold weather when fuel-heating appliances are in use.

  • The first line of defense against CO poisoning is to make sure all fuel-burning appliances operate correctly and are maintained properly. These appliances include furnaces, water heaters, ranges, space heaters, and clothes dryers. Improperly vented fireplaces and charcoal grills can also give off CO. Never use ovens or clothes dryers to heat the house.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors. CO alarms can provide an early warning before CO builds up to a dangerous level. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends placing a carbon monoxide alarm in every area of your house or business. If just one alarm is installed, it should be placed near the sleeping areas of the house. Check the batteries regularly.
  • Do not allow vehicles, snow blowers or any gasoline-powered engine to idle in a garage, basement or any enclosed space. CO can drift into the living space and create a hazardous situation.
  • Be prepared: In your mobile phone, program the emergency service line of your natural gas provider. PSE&G’s emergency service line is 1-800-880-PSEG (7734).
  • If you think high levels of CO are in your home or business: Go outside! If there is a medical emergency, such as someone falling unconscious, get the person outside to fresh air and call 911. Then call PSE&G’s emergency service line. Wait outside, or go to a neighbor’s home, until help arrives.
  • Symptoms of poisoning include headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. Symptoms can occur immediately or gradually after long-term exposure. People who are sleeping can die from CO poisoning before ever experiencing any of these warning signs. It affects people of all ages, but infants and children are even more susceptible than adults.

Stay warm and save energy:

  • Lower your thermostat by just one degree, which may reduce your heating bill by up to 3 percent. Save even more by lowering your thermostat 2 degrees during the day when you are home, and 5 to 10 degrees when you are away and at bedtime, if health conditions permit.
  • Change thermostat batteries once a year, or when the low battery indicator appears on the digital display.
  • Close fireplace dampers when not in use.
  • Move furniture and drapes away from heating registers, radiators, and baseboard element covers. Open any register or baseboard dampers.
  • Open your curtains and blinds that face the sun on sunny days to warm your home, and close them at night to keep the warm air inside.
  • Use weather stripping or caulk to seal up cracks and prevent drafts in windows and doorframes. Beneath doors, install draft guards available at hardware stores.
  • Visit PSE&G’s Home Energy Toolkit at pseg.com/toolkit. You can calculate the energy efficiency of your home and find out how to save energy and money on appliances and heating systems.

DEP safety tips on burning wood

DEP OFFERS TIPS ON REDUCING POLLUTANTS AND SAFETY THREATS FROM BURNING OF WOOD DURING COLDER MONTHS

TRENTON – With colder weather and the holidays approaching, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin reminds residents to practice safety and take steps to reduce the impact burning of wood has on air quality in their homes and neighborhoods.

“Burning of wood – whether in fireplaces, wood stoves, or outdoor wood boilers – can help reduce energy costs and add a cozy ambience to any home as the weather turns colder,” said Commissioner Martin. “But wood burning also emits small particles and other air pollutants that can be significantly reduced with some common-sense practices, better protecting your health as well as your neighbors’ health and creating the climate for a safer and more enjoyable season.” For some people, even short-term exposure to wood smoke can aggravate lung or heart conditions. Children, teen-agers, older adults and people with lung diseases such as asthma and COPD, or heart conditions are most susceptible to the effects of wood smoke.

The DEP recommends following these guidelines for burning wood at home:

  • Allow wood to season before burning it. Seasoning means allowing the wood to sit outdoors for at least six months. Seasoning allows moisture to evaporate from the wood, making it burn more efficiently Seasoned wood is darker, has cracks in the end grain and sounds hollow when smacked against another piece of wood.
  • Use a wood moisture meter to test the moisture content of wood. Wood burns most efficiently when its moisture content is below 20 percent.
  • Stack wood neatly off the ground with the top covered to protect the wood from rain and snow. Store wood that is to be used in the house a safe distance from fireplaces or stoves.
  • Start fires with newspaper and dry kindling and keep them burning hot.
  • Regularly remove ashes to ensure proper airflow.
  • Never burn garbage, cardboard, plastics, wrapping materials, painted materials or pressure-treated wood in your stove or fireplace.
  • Keep anything flammable – including drapes, furniture, newspapers and books – far away from any wood-burning appliance. Keep an accessible and recently inspected fire extinguisher.
  • Have chimneys cleaned annually by a certified chimney-sweep. Nearly seven percent of homes fires are caused by the buildup of creosote in the chimney. These fires can spread extremely rapidly, and are often signaled by flames leaping from the chimney or a low rumbling sound reminiscent of a freight train or airplane.
  • Consider using an indoor air HEPA filter in the same room as a stove or fireplace. These filters can reduce indoor particle pollution by as much as 60 percent.
  • State regulations and some municipal ordinances prohibit the emission of visible smoke from outdoor wood boilers. Wood boilers heat a fluid that is circulated in homes and buildings for heating purposes. Under state regulations, these boilers may only emit visible smoke for three minutes every half-hour to allow for start-up.

If you plan on burning wood as a major way to heat your home this winter, the DEP recommends upgrading to a U. S. Environmental Protection Agency-certified wood stove or fireplace insert. The newer equipment will reduce air pollution and is much more energy efficient.

For more information on wood burning in New Jersey, visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/baqp/woodburning.html

For more on the EPA’s Burnwise program, visit: http://www.epa.gov/burnwise/