Cry me a river: Dirty snow melt flows into the Whippany in Morristown


Jim Baranski may be the only guy in Morristown who is not rooting for spring to take root.

The vice chairman of the Whippany River Watershed Action Committee says he is hoping it stays cold for awhile… so the pile of dirty snow parked on Bishop Nazery Way will melt s-l-o-w-l-y.  If things heat up, he fears a torrent of pollutants will deluge the Whippany River.

This video by Berit Ollestad, shot on March 22, 2014, shows runoff trickling from the snow pile to the river.

Volunteers clearing debris from the Whippany River near Bethel A.M.E. Church last weekend expressed dismay that the town would cart snow from local streets to the river’s edge.  The snow is loaded with road salt and other contaminants, according to Jim.

Town Administrator Michael Rogers has said that the town had few places to put the snow, which had been creating safety issues on local streets.  The town council was informed about the decision to use Bishop Nazery Way, he noted, adding that possible remediation measures could include a second town cleanup of the river site and placement of fencing to catch any trash that might emerge from the snow melt.

GROOMING THE SLOPES AT MOUNT NAZERY, where Morristown's snow i being deposited. Photo by Berit Ollestad

GROOMING THE SLOPES AT MOUNT NAZERY, where Morristown’s snow was deposited this winter. Photo by Berit Ollestad


  1. M. Esposito says:

    We have a similar problem every winter in Burnham Park with the “Scherzer Way Snow Mountain” on the side of the ballfield. The snow melts goes into the Burnham Park and then into the Park’s pond which flows to the Whippany River. Wish there was a solution.

  2. Wether the snow is deposited there or at the Burnham site or not, doesn’t is all still melt and ultimately flow into the Whippany River? At least this way the garbage is concentrated in one spot and easier to pick up than if it were all over town. There does need to be a different solution though…

  3. Margret Brady says:

    Instead of dumping it in one place, how about spreading the snow around all the ball fields in Town. Could the the sewer plant or the recycling center also be used?

  4. Kevin Coughlin says:

    Do you think road salt would harm grass on the ballfields?

  5. M. Esposito says:

    I see that Burnham Park’s mountain of snow with all its garbage and waste was pushed beyond the lot (further away from the ball field) earlier this month. This toxic mess is now on top of the grass area and next to the special tree plantings making this even a more serious problem!

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