UPDATE: Lewes wastewater treatment plant resumes full function

Shannon McNaught * Delaware
Milford Beacon

Tidewater Utilities has resumed full wastewater treatment in Lewes after a malfunction caused partially-treated wastewater to flow into local waters for over a week.

The Lewes wastewater treatment plant resumed normal operations on Dec. 28. The plant was forced to release partially-treated wastewater into the Lewes Rehoboth Canal starting Dec. 18 due to a malfunction. Membranes (similar to filters) were contaminated during an automated backwashing process and had to be replaced.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has ordered the closure of shellfish harvest areas in the lower Delaware Bay area. That closure will continue through Jan. 18, 2020.

Related links:

DNREC explains delay of public notification

Partially-treated wastewater flowing into canal

DNREC has issued an emergency shellfish closure in the lower Delaware Bay, from the Mispillion River Inlet to The Point at Cape Henlopen State Park and east to New Jersey. The closure will continue through Jan. 18, 2020.

The ban applies to clams, oysters and mussels. Crabs, conch and fish are not affected.