Artesian Water Co. and Allen Harim are seeking operations permits for plans to dispose of treated wastewater from the Allen Harim plant in Harbeson.
Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will hold a public hearing on the permits at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 21, at Mariner Middle School.
Allen Harim’s portion is to operate an on-site wastewater treatment and disposal system to treat up to 4 million gallons per day, most of which is from the Harbeson poultry-processing plant.
Artesian has applied for a spray-irrigation operations permit to receive treated wastewater from Allen Harim at the company’s Sussex Regional Recharge Facility and dispose of it via spray irrigation, with storage in a 90-million-gallon lagoon at the corner of Route 16 and Gravel Hill Road. The daily flow at the facility is 1.5 million gallons per day with a peak flow of 2 million gallons a day. The treated effluent will be sprayed on 1,700 acres of farm fields and wooded area owned by Artesian.
The citizens group Keep Our Wells Clean opposes the spray irrigation plan and earlier tried to challenge Artesian’s construction permit. Construction was upheld by the state Environmental Appeals Board, but Keep Our Wells Clean has appealed to Delaware Superior Court.
Keep Our Wells Clean founder Andrea Green said, “We remain opposed to the project and anticipate significant public opposition at the hearing.”
Green said the hearing was noticed with little time for the public to prepare and understand the project. She said she did not think the library at Mariner would be a large enough room for everyone who wants to attend.
“I anticipate that there will be many objections as there remain significant concerns as to the impact of the project and the two permits on the quality of water in the aquifer and in surrounding wells,” Green said.