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Wilmington to overhaul aging Brandywine Creek Raceway

The aging stone channel that brings water from Brandywine Creek to Wilmington's water treatment system is getting a facelift.


The city will spend $6 million to rehabilitate the Brandywine Creek Raceway.


The mile-long raceway is more than 200 years old, built from stone to bring creekwater to local flour mills. Today, it carries water to the Brandywine Pumping Station and Porter Water Plant and on to more than a hundred thousand regional customers.


But the stone construction of the raceway is crumbling with age. The city estimates that's causing it to lose about 30 percent of its water flow.

This summer, the city has begun a seven-month rehabilitation project on the raceway, which is inside Brandywine Park. They're replacing the head gates that control water flow into the first part of the filtration system. They say the new gates will provide a better seal to make sure more creekwater stays in the creek -- helping the local ecosystem.

The city will also install a concrete liner along the raceway to help combat the water loss and make the structure more stable.

The project is being funded with State Revolving Fund loan. The city expects to keep walking trails and other nearby areas of the state park open during the raceway construction.