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Kelly D. Pitts

Public Information Officer

555 Bay Rd Dover, DE 19901

(302) 744-2304 / Fax: (302) 736-2279

Email:  kelly.pitts@co.kent.de.us


Office Hours: 8:00am-5:00pm Mon.-Fri.

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Kent County Department of Public Works, Experiences Sewage Line Break during Emergency Repair Work:


Dover, DE - Kent County government officials say emergency sewage line work being performed at Postlethwait Middle School has caused a raw sewage spill at Pump Station 3, located on Water Street in Dover.

Kent County Public Works Director Andrew Jakubowitch says, “We have notified the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control http://www.dnrec.state.de.us/> (DNREC) of this breach, and are in compliance with performing the necessary procedures to reduce any further spill at this location. We expect to have this situation corrected today. The spill is a result of a transmission line break, and resulting emergency repair work being performed near Postlethwait Middle School.”

“The County takes this spill very seriously and intends to do everything in its power to mitigate this problem as quickly as possible,” says Levy Court President, P. Brooks Banta.

DNREC Secretary David Small issued an emergency order today suspending commercial and recreational shellfish harvest of oysters, clams and mussels in the Delaware Bay as a result. The harvest closure will be in effect for 21 days after the county’s wastewater discharge has been halted.

While the spill continues, DNREC also advised residents and recreationalists not to use the St. Jones River from its upper reaches of Silver Lake in Dover to Bowers, where it flows to the bay.

DNREC also ordered Kent County’s public works department to increase its monitoring of the river for bacteria and organics until water quality returns to pre-spill conditions. Kent County continues to make repairs as quickly as possible and has been cooperating fully with DNREC and working with water users to try and reduce flows from the sanitary sewage system during repairs.
The DNREC emergency order noted that “Due to the health risks associated with untreated waste water, the Delaware Bay will be placed under an emergency shellfish harvesting closure to protect public health.” The order also advised that “This shellfish closure only impacts the harvest of bivalve molluscan shellfish (clams, oysters and mussels), and does not affect the legal harvest of other shellfish species such as crabs and conchs,” concluding that “Currently there is no commercial oyster harvest occurring in the Delaware Bay and little-to-no recreational harvest occurs this time of year.”
All sanitary sewer customers located in Dover and northern Kent County are urged to minimize their water usage and discharges into the sewage system until repairs are complete and services are fully restored.
For additional information regarding this wastewater spill, please contact Kia Evans at:
Kent County Levy Court is the executive authority in Kent County, Delaware, charged with overseeing the daily operations of county government. For additional information about this release, contact Public Information Officer, Kia Evans, at (302)-744-2304.

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