New DNREC Study Looks to Evaluate Sewer System in Bethel - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

New DNREC Study Looks to Evaluate Sewer System in Bethel

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BETHEL, Del. - A study costing $40,000 has been initiated by Sussex County, in order to examine the best way to transition toward a sewer system in Bethel. The study will be paid for by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, and will decide if the best method is to incorporate the new system into existing ones in either Laurel or Seaford, or to create an independent one.

Opinion varies on whether the transition away from the septic system would be better or worse for the citizens, and the big question centers around cost. The study will show whether the newer system will save citizens money or not.

DNRec is looking to make this transition because a sewer system is far better for the environment, according to the engineering department of Sussex County. The septic system will eliminate approximately 65 percent of the toxins from the waste before being released. Meanwhile, the Sewer system will remove nearly all of it.

Jeff Hastings, the president of the Bethel Council and the owner of Jeff's Greenhouse, said this would be a massive change for the town.  

"We've knocked it around for several years," he said. "But everybody said, 'In the future, in the future.' So, I might be gone by the time the future is here."

Hastings has a septic system in his home, but a Porta-Potty at his business, because he said it would be too expensive to maintain two separate septic systems. However, he said a centralized sewer system might make it more affordable.

Sussex County Councilman Vance Phillips lives just a couple minutes from Hastings' store. Phillips said the study will be a productive way to gauge whether this project is a good idea or not.

"The study will tell us what the costs will be and what the options are," he said. "And ultimately, a referendum will have to be in place in bethel so the citizens can vote on their future."

Hastings confirmed that the decision would be made through a referendum in the end, so as to make it a truly town-wide decision.

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