The Groundwater Discharges Section oversees all aspects of the siting, design and installation of onsite wastewater treatment and disposal systems (known as septic systems). The Section is organized into two branches.
On Feb. 25, 2021, the DNREC Secretary approved the authorization of a temporary emergency variance under 7 Del. C. § 6012 to Mountaire Farms of Delaware, Inc. providing relief from certain spray irrigation operational limitations set forth in State Permit No. 359191-06. The 60-day temporary emergency variance authorizes the discharge of treated wastewater (effluent) on Mountaire’s spray fields during precipitation (i.e., wet weather) events on a temporary and limited basis subject to the conditions set forth in the variance. The conditions outlined in the Department’s Temporary Emergency Variance Authorization Letter and the approved Wet Weather Variance Workplan will limit any potential impacts to the environment if Mountaire performs any wet weather spraying.
On Jan. 11, 2021, the DNREC Secretary issued Secretary’s Order No. 2021-W-0003 approving a construction permit, and a modified and renewed operating permit for the Mountaire Farms poultry processing complex in Millsboro.
Groundwater Discharges Section Manager
The Small Systems Branch reviews and approves small septic systems with daily flows less than 2,500 gallons per day. The Branch conducts site evaluations, reviews permit applications, and performs installation and compliance inspections of small systems. It oversees innovative and alternative waste treatment technologies and advanced treatment units.
The Large Systems Branch reviews and approves spray irrigation wastewater systems and onsite wastewater treatment and disposal systems with daily flows greater than 2,500 gallons per day. It oversees underground injection wells and other forms of wastewater treatment.
The Section approves on-site wastewater treatment and disposal systems, known as septic systems, and maintains information on system types and management practices.
The Section issues licenses for several classes of on-site wastewater system professionals and works closely with the Delaware On-Site Systems Advisory Board.
The Section oversees the use of reclaimed water for non-drinking water purposes such as irrigation of agricultural fields, golf courses, forests, parks, and cemeteries.
The Section reviews and permits the use of underground injection wells. Only those wells that inject non-hazardous fluids underground are permitted in Delaware.