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Artesian to hold information session on spray facility

Company expects to begin spray irrigation in spring
January 13, 2020

Artesian Water Company will hold a public information session from 1 to 3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 18, at Milton CHEER Center to update the public on the status of the company’s Sussex Regional Recharge Facility on the corner of Route 16 and Route 30.

Dave Spacht, president of Artesian’s wastewater management division, said the session will discuss progress at the facility. This will include Artesian taking treated effluent from Allen Harim’s Harbeson poultry processing plant and spraying it on the facility’s 400 acres, as well as the company’s plans for building its own treatment plant at the facility to treat wastewater from neighboring developments. 

Spacht said the session will feature stations with public information and Artesian representatives followed by a presentation and a question-and-answer session as part of a company effort to keep the public informed of what the company is doing.

The Sussex Regional Recharge Facility not only has 400 acres of farmland along Route 30, but a 90-million gallon storage lagoon and a network of 20 miles of piping and infrastructure. 

Spacht said the company hopes to clarify that the project is not just about Allen Harim. That partnership has led to Artesian becoming the target of environmental activists wary of Allen Harim’s environmental history and the facility’s close proximity to Clean Delaware’s spray fields, which have also been the site of environmental problems. 

Spacht said testing at the facility will begin in February and will take place over the course of a month. He said the testing will include pumping from Allen Harim, with the treated effluent going into Artesian’s storage lagoon. Although Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn Garvin has not approved Artesian’s operations permit allowing the company to spray, Artesian expects the facility to be online near the end of the first quarter.