The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), Division of Water, Groundwater Discharges Section will conduct a public hearing (Hearing Docket #2022-P-W-0008) on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, beginning at 6:00 p.m. to consider comments from the public on Sussex County Council’s (the County’s) Application and Proposed Draft Construction Permit for the construction of the Phase 2 upgrade and expansion project at the Inland Bays Wastewater Treatment Facility (IBWTF) (including a constructed wetland demonstration and research project and a treated wastewater distribution project) and the County’s Application and Proposed Draft Operations Permit authorizing the operation of the IBWTF, disposal activities, and use of new systems.
Sussex County Council (the County) currently owns, operates, and maintains the Inland Bays Wastewater Treatment Facility (IBWTF) for the treatment and disposal of domestic wastewater from the County’s service territories. The Phase 2 upgrade and expansion project proposes to increase both the treatment and disposal capacities of the IBWTF.
Sussex County Council has applied for a State of Delaware Construction Permit for the Phase 2 upgrade and expansion project at the Inland Bays Wastewater Treatment Facility (IBWTF). The Phase 2 project’s scope includes increasing the facility’s treatment capacity from 2.0 million gallons per day (MGD) to 4.0 MGD by installation of new screening and grit removal systems, constructing two additional biological nutrient removal (BNR) Biolac aeration lagoons, constructing two new clarifiers, and upgrading/expanding existing pumps, blowers, biosolids, filtration, and irrigation pump systems.
The Phase 2 upgrades and expansion will also increase disposal capacity from 2.65 MGD to 6.96 MGD on an annual average basis by adding approximately 347.9 wetted acres on County-owned forested land. Treated wastewater will be pumped from the IBWTF effluent storage lagoons and distributed to spray fields with fixed-head sprinkler systems. The distribution system consists of 17,900-ft of 16” PVC C900 distribution lines which feed 186,960-ft of 4” PVC C900 lateral lines that connect to the sprinkler heads.
In addition, the Phase 2 upgrade and expansion project includes the construction of a constructed wetland to research and demonstrate the effectiveness of wetland systems to remediate local groundwater resources, serve as an innovative alternative to treated wastewater storage, and provide an enhanced treatment disposal option.
The construction project is to be located on the north side of County Road 306, between County Road 307 and 303, Sussex County, Delaware, Sussex County Tax Map/Parcel Numbers:2-34-22-14, 234-16.00-906.00, 234-21.00-171.00, 234-16.00-28.03, 234-16.00-28.00, 234-16.00-23.00, 234-16.00-21.01.
Sussex County Council is currently authorized to operate and maintain an on-site wastewater treatment and disposal system (OWTDS) known as the Inland Bays Wastewater Treatment Facility (IBWTF). The IBWTF receives and treats domestic wastewater from the County’s service territories and the facility consists of headworks with screening and grit removal systems, two Biolac aeration lagoons for biological nutrient removal (BNR), two clarifiers, biosolids handling, storage, and dewatering facilities, a chlorine contact tank for disinfection, and two effluent storage lagoons. Up to 2.65 MGD of treated wastewater is discharged to 432.5 acres of agricultural fields via eight center pivot spray irrigation systems. This Phase 1 project is operating in accordance with the County’s State of Delaware OWTDS Operations Permit No. 359141-05.
Sussex County Council has applied to renew their State of Delaware OWTDS Operations Permit for Phase 1 operations and to authorize the operation of the Phase 2 project’s newly constructed wastewater treatment, distributions, and disposal systems. The Phase 2 projects will increase the IBWTF’s treatment capacity from 2.0 to 4.0 MGD and disposal capacity from 2.65 to 6.96 MGD. The permit will also authorize the use of the constructed wetland to treated groundwater and enhance effluent treatment as a demonstration and research project.
The proposed Draft Construction and Operations Permits include construction, operational, monitoring, and reporting requirements designed to protect human health and the environment.
For additional information on the above matter, and to review applications, supporting documents, and draft permits online, visit de.gov/dnrechearings or contact John Rebar, Jr., Division of Water, Groundwater Discharges Section, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE, 19901; by phone at 302-739-9948; or, by email, at John.Rebar@delaware.gov.
The web link to the virtual hearing can be accessed through the DNREC Public Hearings site at de.gov/dnrechearings. If prompted for a password, please use: InlandBaysWWTF. To access the audio-only portion of the virtual hearing, dial in at 1-408-418-9388 and enter event number 2334 080 1424. Closed captioning is available by request if made at least 7 days before the event.
Those wishing to offer verbal comments during DNREC public hearings must pre-register no later than noon of the date of the virtual hearing at de.gov/dnreccomments or by telephone at 302-739-9001.
The Department will accept public comment through the close of business on Tuesday, June 7, 2022. Comments will be accepted in written form via email to DNRECHearingComments@delaware.gov or by using the online form at de.gov/dnreccomments, or by U.S. mail to the following address:
Lisa A. Vest, Hearing Officer
Office of the Secretary
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control
89 Kings Highway
Dover, DE 19901