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Artesian water reimbursed $10 million from Sand and Gravel landfill, customers will receive bill credits

Artesian customers will receive about a $27 credit on their next bill thanks to a $10 million reimbursement agreement with the Delaware Sand & Gravel Trust.

85,000 Artesian Water customers will be reimbursed over the next four years for projects connected to a Superfund site during the last decade.

Since 2013, Artesian invested $8.7 million in treatment technologies and incurred $1.3 million in operating costs at its Llangollen well field, but the Delaware Sand & Gravel Trust is paying it all back, and without litigation. Executive Vice President Joseph DiNunzio says the Delaware Sand & Gravel landfill was the source of issues with its Llangollen well field.

“We made that investment, which means as a utility, that customers have been paying that cost in their water bills," DiNunzio sayid. "The Trust, by agreeing that they were responsible for the need for that treatment, and now agreeing to reimburse Artesian in annual installments over the next four years, means that Artesian is made whole but what that really means is that our customers are made whole.”

Active customers as of September 30 this year will receive a credit of about $27 no later than October 31on their water bill.

The Trust is responsible for remediation of releases from the Delaware Sand and Gravel Landfill, now a designated Superfund site, meaning parties responsible must perform cleanups or reimburse the government for EPA-led cleanup work.

DiNunzio says the agreement with the Trust addresses any future projects too.

“When we did this, we wanted to address that fact," he said. "Let's not have to negotiate the next time something should occur. Let's have a mechanism in place so that our customers are not bearing the burden.”

Active customers as of July 31, 2023, 2024 and 2025 will receive a similar level of credit in their bills annually.

Rachel Sawicki was born and raised in Camden, Delaware and attended the Caesar Rodney School District. They graduated from the University of Delaware in 2021 with a double degree in Communications and English and as a leader in the Student Television Network, WVUD and The Review.