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Milford Beacon
  • Federal grant to increase energy efficiency, reach of Kent County Wastewater Treatment Plant in Milford

  • Wastewater treatment isn’t a pretty process, but officials from the Kent County Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant in Milford say a new wave of federal funding will help improve the facility’s energy efficiency and environmental concerns, as well as extend service to more families.
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    • MORE ABOUT THE TREATMENT PLANT

      FIRST YEAR ONLINE 1973


      LOCATION 139 Milford Neck Road in Milford


      NUMBER SERVED More than 130,000...

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      MORE ABOUT THE TREATMENT PLANT

      FIRST YEAR ONLINE 1973



      LOCATION 139 Milford Neck Road in Milford



      NUMBER SERVED More than 130,000 residential, commercial, industrial and municipal users



      LOCATIONS SERVED All Kent County municipalities except Viola, Marydel, Houston and Woodside



      GALLONS TREATED More than 12 million each day



      MORE INFO Call (302) 744-2430, email publicworks@co.kent.de.us or visit co.kent.de.us/Public-works-dept

  • Wastewater treatment isn’t a pretty process, but officials from the Kent County Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant in Milford say a new wave of federal funding will help improve the facility’s energy efficiency and environmental concerns, as well as extend service to more families.
    More than $7.5 million in funding promised by the U.S. Department of Agriculture will support two efficiency projects and extend county sewer service to 155 homes and three businesses in Paris Villa and more than 100 homes and businesses in London Village, both unincorporated areas near Magnolia.
    Over the last three years, the wastewater treatment plant has received more than $28 million in funding from state, county and federal sources for research projects and upgrades that will allow the facility to reduce energy expenditures by 15 and reduce air emissions related to stand-by power generation by about 80 percent, according to Hans Medlarz, director of Kent County Public Works Department, which oversees the only wastewater treatment plant in Kent County.
    Included in the $7.5 million in new funding is a $632,000 loan and a $1,894,000 grant that will help pay for the Paris Villa/London Village sewer extension project. Sewer services initially will be extended to Paris Villa, followed by London Village in the second phase of the project. Both developments currently depend on private wells and on-site septic systems.
    Levy Court Commissioner Jody Sweeney said the cost savings of the project are important, but secondary to how residents will be affected.
    Paris Villa was built in the 1940s and 1950s as a low-cost expansion of Dover Air Force Base, he said, and many current homeowners are second-generation residents whose parents moved to the area because of the base.
    “In talking to these people about what’s coming, and explaining to them why we’re doing it, how we’re doing it and the cost to them, almost everyone is accepting that we’ve worked hard to keep their costs low,” Sweeney said. “Yes … it’s less money for the county government, but it really is less money for the people who live here and we appreciate that.”
    A USDA loan for $5 million also included in the new funding will pay for upgrades to blowers and the addition of a single-unit, plant-wide power back-up system. The nearly 25-year-old blowers, which Medlarz described as “vintage,” will be replaced with equipment that has been on the market for about five or six years, he said, and will eliminate vibration and friction issues that increase energy consumption.
    “The $5 million from the federal government is the last piece of the puzzle,” he said July 2, when Delaware’s U.S. senators joined county and federal officials in announcing the funding.
    Page 2 of 2 - U.S. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) said the new funding will address areas of past growth – places like Paris Villa – that haven’t been handled until now.
    “This is taking, I think, an appropriate federal role through USDA, making sure there’s financing available, making sure that these projects and programs are being done at a quality level, but really the leadership, the insight, the resources and the plan have been done here in Kent County,” he said. “This is a great way to lay the ground work for a vibrant Kent County moving forward.”
    U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), who has visited the Milford treatment facility many times over the years, recalled a visit to a Wilmington facility during his first campaign for state treasurer, when the plant could be smelled from a mile away. That’s not the case with wastewater treatment plants anymore, he said.
    “Most people I’ve seen have no idea how advanced you are here in Kent County, in treating wastewater in an environmentally friendly way,” he said. “And with this investment … you’ll be doing it in a more energy efficient way.”
     
    MORE ABOUT THE TREATMENT PLANT
    FIRST YEAR ONLINE 1973
    LOCATION 139 Milford Neck Road in Milford
    NUMBER SERVED More than 130,000 residential, commercial, industrial and municipal users
    LOCATIONS SERVED All Kent County municipalities except Viola, Marydel, Houston and Woodside
    GALLONS TREATED More than 12 million each day
    MORE INFO Call (302) 744-2430, email publicworks@co.kent.de.us or visit co.kent.de.us/Public-works-dept

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