Project to connect community of Donovan Smith to Lewes sewage system goes ahead
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced on September 14 that a plan to connect the Donovan Smith mobile home park to the Lewes Public Works Commission sewer system was running from the before.
After months of negotiations, DNREC officials said conditional approval had been obtained by the owner of the park. The community owner’s lender had to approve the financing deal for the publicly funded loan to cover the hookup, officials said.
“There are a number of manufactured home communities in our state – particularly in the upstate – with long-standing septic problems where the cost of a sewer connection on residents would be a huge financial burden. Finding a way to enforce sewer hook-up without overburdening residents or potentially bankrupting the park – and leaving residents with no place to live – is the tightrope that we must walk, and that state funding backed by Governor Carney makes it possible, ”said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “We are working to make a difference in the lives of these residents and in the environment, one step at a time.”
The mobile home park also received its second notice of violation on September 13, officials said. It was issued after a compliance inspection and two investigations of environmental complaints revealed multiple violations associated with several small on-site sewage treatment and disposal systems within the community that had not previously been addressed. in a July notice of violation. One of the issues involved a collapsing septic tank with sewage overflowing and accumulating on the ground, with no barriers or fences preventing human or animal contact with the untreated sewage, a significant public health hazard. , officials said.
This second violation cites Donovan Smith MHP for delays, as well as additional violations that have occurred since July. Although Donovan Smith MHP has since started pumping the system and submitted a preliminary corrective action plan, officials said, this second violation requires additional interim corrective action. The DNREC enforcement action also includes changes to the corrective action plan to address additional violations, monthly communication with community residents on the status of corrective actions, and more rigorous inspection and reporting to mitigate additional environmental and public health issues until the sewer connection is completed. achieved.
The first violation documented Donovan Smith MHP’s continued non-compliance and set deadlines for the park to correct the problem and move forward with the sewer hookup with funding from the Clean Water Initiative. Although the DNREC has received updates from Donovan Smith MHP regarding the interim corrective actions taken, officials said, the initiation of the required system drains and submission of a corrective action plan have not taken place. within the timeframe set in the July violation.
Donovan Smith MHP was chosen as a pilot project for the Delaware Clean Water Initiative for Underserved Communities – a program run by DNREC, the Delaware Department of Health and Human Services, and the Delaware State Housing Authority to develop a list priorities for underserved communities across the state. who have long standing water and sewage problems. The initiative aims to end water pollution at the mobile home site by moving the community from septic systems to the Lewes central sewer system. The Clean Water Initiative will use Donovan Smith’s pilot program to implement water and wastewater improvements in other similar communities, officials said.