Rehoboth's dodged bullet on clean beach

July 5, 2014

We’ve noticed the headline from the media outlets championing Delaware’s clean beaches. I thought it was interesting the press did not pick up on the fact that Rehoboth lost its Superstar Beach rating from the previous year. Dewey is still on the list, but Rehoboth is not, largely due, we believe, to the storm drains that dump unfiltered and untreated storm runoff directly into the ocean from the storm drains located in North Rehoboth.

Most folks do not know that the pipes that dot Rehoboth beach are, in fact, pipes directly linked to the storm drain system, pushing out polluted storm water containing cigarette butts, anti-freeze, oil, and whatever else is on the streets at that time.

An interesting bullet Rehoboth manages to dodge is the EPA standards. The EPA Clean Water standards only test for a strand of Ecoli bacteria most commonly associated with fescies. Since our streets are typically clean of human biological waste (I’m trying to be creative with my terminology at this point), the tests typically pass with flying colors.

The lowered rating lends itself to the position Surfrider has taken against the proposed sewage outfall that the City of Rehoboth has approved and is waiting for DNREC’s approval. Why would a town and state that prides itself on its water quality jeopardize its tourist dollars with closed beaches due to bacteria levels rising??

Thank you for your time and please feel free to email me with any concerns or questions at vicechair@delaware surf Link to beach ratings:

John Doerfler
vice chair
Delaware Surfrider Chapter



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