A Foul Problem: Dover Wastewater Pump Station Shuts Down

DOVER, Del. --- A wastewater pump station near U.S. Route 13 in Dover suddenly shut down on Monday afternoon, prompting round-the-clock work to bring the station back to working order.

Dover spokeswoman Kay Sass said the Pump Station 7, located near the Home Depot along U.S. 13, shut down some time before 2:45 p.m. and each of its six pumps was not working. The sewer system, she noted, is not connected to lines that deliver water to homes and businesses.

The city initially brought in a bypass pump from Kent County to help deal with wastewater flow before moving to replace it with a larger bypass pump shipped in from Bridgeport, New Jersey.

Tanker trunks were also used to help remove lower the level of wastewater in the sewer system beneath the ground and some wastewater was also diverted away from the station to help decrease pressure on the system, Sass said.

It was unclear as of Monday night what caused the shutdown, Sass said. Repair work is expected to take place around the clock for at least two days.

Pump Station 7 has had issues in recent years with a strong odor that often carries over to nearby businesses and homes. Officials with Kent County  blamed that odor on the diversion of wastewater from a faulty sewer main beneath U.S. 13 through the city's pump station.

Sass said it was unclear if the additional county wastewater had anything to do with the pump station shutting down.

The county is anticipating the start of a slip-lining project on that sewer main as early as this year. The City of Dover and the county were planning to use an odor-elimination system and blowers to help negate the effects of the odor.

Only one business, Shucker's Pier 13, shut down because of the station shutdown. Sass said the restaurant, located along U.S. Route 13 has experienced wastewater bubbling up from drains located in the building.


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