By Associated Press - Wednesday, December 25, 2019

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Partially treated sewage is still flowing into the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal and the lower Delaware Bay due to a system malfunction at a treatment plant, state officials said.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control learned of an equipment failure at the Lewes Wastewater Treatment Plant on Dec. 18, the Delaware News Journal reported on Wednesday.

Because the problems couldn’t be fixed quickly, the plant had to bypass stages of treatment and discharge partially treated effluent the next day, according to DNREC.

The department also said in a news release on Wednesday that it is monitoring the plant and working with its owner, Tidewater Utilities, to expedite repairs. The equipment necessary to return the plant to its typical operations is expected to arrive on Dec. 27 for immediate installation, DNREC said.

Until the repairs are made, at DNREC’s direction, Tidewater Utilities will continue to sample partially-treated effluent discharge for fecal bacteria count at locations after it leaves the plant.

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