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Acoustic Experts Agree that AT&T Cell Antenna Equipment will Sound like a "Faint Hum"

Ed Barmakian

Thursday, April 10, 2014 • 1:35am

CHATHAM, NJ - Two acoustic experts agreed that equipment to run the proposed cell antennas that AT&T wants to place on a water tower in Chatham Township will cause a "faint hum" during testimony on Wednesday at the Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting.

The ongoing hearing to decide whether AT&T will receive a variance from the board to install 12  cell antennas on the NJ American Water Tower behind 63 Buxton Road revolved around decibel levels. The hearing will continue on May 22.

Matt Murello, AT&T acoustics expert, had previously testified that the noise level from the computer-like equipment needed to run the cell antennas, would not disturb residents. He said that a 9 1/2-foot high wood barrier around the equipment would keep the noise level the same as it is now.

Norman A. Dotti, acoustic expert brought in by the zoning board for consultation, agreed with Murello's findings.

Murello, however, based his comparison from a noise sample he recorded from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Feb. 27. The board requested that he do a 24-hour test to determine if there might be a difference in his data. He will present his findings at the May 22 meeting.

Norman A. Dotti, acoustic expert, agrees with AT&T expert that antenna equipment would cause a "faint hum" in video below

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Matt Murello, AT&T acoustics expert, explains his calculations on noise on Buxton Road in video below

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AT&T opened the Wednesday hearing by informing the board that it planned to move the equipment further away from the playground on the property of Brad and Katie Weisgerber, whose property borders the New Jersey American Water Tower site.

According to Murello's calculations, the noise produced by the equipment will be a "hum" at the fence separating the properties, but would not be noticable 60 feet away or 12 feet high from 100 feet away. Those measurements approximated the distance of a second-story window on the Weisgerber property. Dotti agreed with the findings.

Board member Thomas V. Polise revealed that he was reading "Why Noise Matters," and said he wanted to hear more about the data Murello will collect during a 24-hour period.

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