Tidewater Proposes Alternative to Ocean Outfall - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Tidewater Proposes Alternative to Ocean Outfall

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. - As DNREC reviews public comments on the City of Rehoboth Beach's ocean outfall, Tidewater Utilities has submitted an alternative to the outfall once again.

The company submitted a letter to DNREC on December 1st, one day before public comment on the project ended. Tidewater proposes that the city's treated wastewater be pumped to Wandendale Farms off route 24 and disposed of through spray irrigation. Tidewater president Gerard Esposito says this is similar to a proposal they made last summer, but was turned down. He says he doesn't believe alternatives to the outfall were properly investigated.

"Some people claim in their record that all land application options were considered and determined to be not cost effective or environmentally sound--that's the part we disputed," he says. "The process we felt was flawed when the consultants solicited farms within 20 miles of Rehoboth and got minimal response."

Rehoboth Mayor Sam Cooper says that Tidewater's plan is a non-starter as it's in violation of the order they must follow in removing their wastewater from the inland water systems.

"The rapid infiltration beds would not meet the consent order and the mandate for the city to get the discharge out of inland bays," he tells WBOC. "Because the nitrogen would still flow back to the bay through the ground water."

Gregg Rosner with the Delaware Surfrider Foundation says his organization is for the Tidewater option, as they say it reuses water. They say even more options need to be explored, as technology has changed so much since the outfall project began years ago.

"DNREC's preferred method is spray irrigation. Why doesn't it work here?" asks Rosner. "These alternatives will hopefully be reviewed by a new DNREC Secretary." 

More information on the treated wastewater projects can be found on DNREC's website. 

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