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Delaware Headlines

Lewes wastewater treatment plant malfunction resolved

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The Lewes wastewater treatment plant is back online, resuming normal treatment of effluent following a system malfunction on December 18.

The Lewes wastewater treatment plant has resumed full treatment operation and is no longer discharging partially-treated effluent into Lewes-Rehoboth Canal and the Delaware Bay.

A system malfunction on December 18th led to the discharge.  The state responded by asking Lewes residents to conserve water use.  It also closed the shellfish harvest downstream from the facility’s discharge point.

Tidewater Utilities notified DNREC Saturday that treatment membranes contaminated during an automated backwashing process, which caused the malfunction, had been replaced.

DNREC says that closure of shellfish harvest areas remains in effect for another 21-days from the time the bypass situation ended and Lewes wastewater treatment plant’s effluent met required discharge standards. 

DNREC staff had been onsite at the plant during the nine days the partially-treated effluent was being discharged   - directing Tidewater Utilities’ sampling of bacteria levels and monitoring it for possible health risks.

 

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