Artesian now treating wastewater from Allen Harim’s Harbeson plant


Artesian Wastewater Management, Inc. is now treating wastewater from Allen Harim, allowing full operation of Artesian’s Sussex Regional Recharge Facility (SRRF).

It follows the settlement of a  legal dispute over payments to Artesian that led Allen Harim to threaten to shut down its poultry processing plant.

Earlier, an environmental group took a case to the Delaware Supreme Court over a permit for spray irrigation. See the link to a story at the bottom of his post.

Over the past four years, Artesian’s investments in its regional facility provided services and resources to Allen Harim to complete the project. Completion allows Allen Harim to meet its regulatory permit requirement to cease wastewater discharge to the Beaverdam Creek at its Harbeson plant, Artesian noted.

Artesian’s 90 million gallon storage lagoon and nearly nine miles of treated effluent mains come after long efforts to provide solutions for Allen Harim’s Harbeson facility, as well as for other businesses and residents in Sussex County.

Initially, the site will recycle 1.5 million gallons a day  of treated effluent from Allen Harim, providing what  Artesian says is an “effective, innovative, and environmentally-friendly method of disposal.”

Artesian utilizes spray irrigation to recycle the treated effluent onto agricultural land, where it recharges and replenishes aquifers and provides water for crops.

Improvements to enhance Allen-Harim’s on-site treatment process were made, including additional treatment basins, multiple points of additional monitoring throughout the plant, and provisions for diversion of any effluent which does not meet specifications into Allen Harim’s onsite lagoon storage.

“We are pleased with how our team committed to upholding the integrity of this project and worked diligently for a successful conclusion. We feel strongly that the poultry and egg production industry is a driving force in Sussex County’s economy and highly valuable to the communities Artesian loyally serves across the Delmarva Peninsula. We share the same commitment to protecting the viability of this important industry as we do to protection of the environment,” said Dian C. Taylor, CEO of Artesian.

The traditional alternative to wastewater disposal was discharged into Sussex County’s inland bays and streams, where it could potentially have detrimental impacts on local communities and the environment.

“Through Artesian’s wastewater treatment process, we are removing a major point-source of stream discharge from Beaverdam Creek and ultimately the Broadkill River Watershed. Operations at our SRRF facility, in conjunction with local businesses, is a prime example of how private investment can be used to improve surface and groundwater quality,” Taylor stated.

According to Artesian, the system represents a  $28 million investment. The facility also includes 1,700 acres of agricultural fields for irrigation of crops like corn, soybean, and barley.

“Our northern Sussex facility is a major step towards a lasting solution to managing wastewater in a way that will improve water quality in the area,” said David B. Spacht, president of Artesian Wastewater Management.

Artesian began providing wastewater service to the Town of Middletown in 1998, designing, constructing, and operating two wastewater treatment facilities. Artesian now treats, processes, and disposes more than  1.3 billion gallons of wastewater annually from homes and businesses throughout the state at six different facilities.

Supreme Court upholds DNREC permit for wastewater plant used by poultry processor Allen Harim

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