Representatives of government agencies, Clean Water Solutions and Tidewater Utilities announced federal funding to support small, aging rural community wastewater systems in Delaware.
The announcement was made in a press conference held at the Country Glen II subdivision in Bridgeville, which is served by Tidewater.
A U.S. Department of Agriculture Task Force in Delaware spent two years developing an approach aimed at dealing with the complex issue of maintaining older rural community wastewater systems that have come with maintenance, financial and environmental issues.
Larger and newer developments often have systems operated on a for-profit basis by utilities like Tidewater and Artesian Resources or are located close to the larger county and municipal wastewater utility systems.
Tidewater offered its experience in the wastewater field to help develop a nonprofit utility concept that will initially be piloted at Country Glen II.
In addition, Tidewater will lend continued expertise as an in-kind contribution to carry out these efforts once the non-profit is in full operation, a release stated.
“I’m proud that Delaware is leading the way with this innovative solution that I think could serve as a model to solve similar problems in small, rural communities across the country,” said Delaware U.S. Sen. Tom Carper.
“Small community wastewater systems face unique challenges in regards to sustainability and maintaining compliance,” said Gerard Esposito, president of Tidewater Utilities. “We are glad that this issue has captured public attention and that we are able to be part of a solution that helps to lift the burden on residents served by these systems,” added Esposito.
Tidewater will manage the operations of the system and billing of the new sewer customers because several of the communities identified for funding are located in Tidewater’s water service area.
If this approach is approved by the Delaware Public Service Commission and becomes successful at Country Glen II, other communities could be served under the same model.
Tidewater, a subsidiary of Middlesex Water Company of New Jersey, provides water and wastewater services south of the C&D Canal. Visit www.tuiwater.com for further information.