Outfall: Inflammatory rhetoric misleading

July 24, 2014

It is amazing to me that we have to debate, yet again, whether the City of Rehoboth Beach wastewater, when fully treated, should be pumped over a mile out into the ocean or pumped to inland fields where it will be spread over the land. Several facts should be made clear again.

It is the same treated wastewater in both cases. It is demonstrably more favorable to the residents and property owners of Rehoboth Beach to have the treated water pumped out into the ocean. It is less expensive. The project will be paid for in 20 years and the city will be in control of its fate and the burden on the citizens.

The inland spreading will be controlled by private contractors, at greater cost, with a proven track record for substantial periodic rate increases. (Ask anyone you know who lives in any of the many communities out routes 24, 9 or 16).

The inflammatory rhetoric about protecting the environment is misleading also. Careful monitoring of the treatment process will ensure the purity of the wastewater. In the unlikely event of a temporary defect, the risk is as great or greater for land spraying than for ocean outfall. The land is not deep; we are surrounded by delicate inland waterways. Traveling west on Route 16, you see the signs about entering the Chesapeake Bay Watershed in Ellendale.

The recent letter from the president of Artesian Resources is laughable. They will sign a contract? For what - five years, 50 years, until they are sold, until a mishap that bankrupts them? Whose problem is it then. Really!
Sadly, DNREC is less than competent for its foot dragging. Not everyone will be pleased with whatever the decision. DNREC continues to live up to its motto, "We're not happy until you're not happy."

It would be great if Governor Markell could get DNREC on the ball so that this is not some political sideshow for the Rehoboth Beach mayoral election. Serious people have worked a long time on this.

Robert A. Streimer
Rehoboth Beach

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