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More undertreated wastewater discharged as Lewes facility malfunctions again

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Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) says more partially treated sewage was discharged into First State waters this week. 

For about two hours Wednesday night, Tidewater Utilities was forced to bypass the normal treatment process at its Lewes facility and discharge wastewater treated with hydrogen peroxide into the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal. The malfunction was corrected and the facility has resumed its normal operations. 

This comes after Tidewater was forced to bypass its treatment process for nine days last month, until it installed new treatment membranes at the Lewes facility. 

DNREC says Tidewater committed an environmental violation during that time when several million gallons of partially treated wastewater from Lewes homes reached the Delaware Bay. DNREC is still determining an appropriate action to take in response to the violation. 

The plant is back online and plant operators say no future bypass events are expected. 

Plant management has implemented new protocols and is installing additional membranes to alleviate the pressure on the ones in use, according to a state release.

 

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