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Madison-Chatham Joint Meeting

Historical Summary:

The Madison-Chatham Joint Meeting facility serves the 24,000 residents of Madison and Chatham Boroughs, and a small portion of Chatham Township. The plant is located on approximately 17 acres in Chatham and Florham Park.

The Joint Meeting has been required by NJDEP to upgrade the plant to meet a Level 4 effluent water quality requirement prior to discharge to the Passaic River. This new plant addition will remove ammonia levels in the effluent from 30 milligrams per liter to less than 2 milligrams per liter. Additionally, the effluent will be dechlorinated to less than 0.1 milligrams per liter of chlorine.

The expanded facility removes 955 of the conventional impurities in the water and produces a clear liquid effluent which goes into the Passaic River. The new sludge handling facilities provide for thickening of the waste activated sludge prior to conveyance to the digesters and also provide for dewatering of the digested sludge prior to disposal.

In the first two stages, the solid and liquid wastes are separated, bacteria neutralize the impurities in the solids, and the waters are given initial aeration.

For tertiary treatment, the Molitor Water Pollution Control Facility utilizes a three-acre stabilization pond as the third stage of the process where additional oxygen is introduced to purify the effluent.

Additions and improvements to the plant during the last two years represent a total construction cost of about $16,200,000. The New  Jersey Wastewater Trust Pgrogram provided the funding for the upgraded facility with low interest loans to the Boroughs.

This facility is dedicated to three members of the Molitor family, who have served the Joint Meeting faithfully for a total of approximately seventy years. Paul Molitor, Sr., 1914-1943; Edward P. Molitor, 1928-1958; and H. Clyde Molitor, 1940-1984.



1910-1911…..In the first joint venture of its kind in New Jersey, the site for a disposal plant was approved by the Councils of Chatham and Madison on September 20, 1910. The “joint meeting” of the two Boroughs resulted in the construction of a sewage system, and a joint trunk line, as well as the treatment plant.

1929…………A new activated sludge plant was completed.

1950…………Construction of a new trunk sewer and improvements and enlargement of the treatment plant which included inlet facilities, primary sedimentation, the primary and secondary digester complex, chlorine contact tanks and administration building.

1969…………..This improvement consisted of a third primary clarifier, a new primary digester and control building, a primary effluent pumping station, mechanical aeration facilities, final sedimentation tanks and a three-acre aerated stabilization pond.

1990…………..This plant upgrading consisted of the addition of two new oxidation channels with aeration, two new final clarifiers, and a new sludge handling building. Dechlorination facilities have also been added.


The plant, operated by a superintendent and 7 employees, is administered by the Joint Meeting, consisting of the Councils of the Boroughs of Madison and Chatham. The debt cost and the operating and maintenance cost of the facility is shared by the Boroughs on the basis of equivalent house connections.