The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC)
is now considering a proposal to build a 90 million gallon lagoon on land 0.6 miles north of the intersection of Routes 16 and 30,
just outside of Milton. Artesian Water Company wants to use this monstrous lagoon for storage of industrial waste - wastewater
from the Allen Harim poultry processing plant in Harbeson, Delaware, piping it 8 miles to the Artesian site.
Artesian then plans to spray the wastewater on agricultural fields in and around our communities .
In the mid-2000's, a developer began designing a mixed commercial and residential project to be located at the intersection of Routes 16 and 30 just outside of the Town of Milton. As the project would encompass 3,700 residential units (a mix of apartments, townhouses and single-family homes, including 400 low and moderate-income housing units), the developers approached the Town of Milton for sewage treatment. At the time, with Milton's population being less than the total number of proposed new housing units, there was no way the Town had the capacity to deal with the proposed development's sewage needs. Also, despite the Town of Milton's vocal opposition to the development proposal, which would have added 1,800 children to the Milton schools and resulted in other negative impacts on the roads and the town in general, the developers secured county approval.
With sewage services needed, a proposal was made to DNREC for the construction of a full-scale wastewater treatment plant to be located on a 75-acre parcel of land on Route 30, 0.6 miles north of the intersection with Route 16. The treated effluent was to be sprayed on agricultural fields in the area. The proposals made at that time were to deal with the 3,700 new homes along with approximately 6,300 new or existing homes that they estimated would require sewer services in the future.
In the late 2000's, the housing bubble burst and the development (known as the Villages of Elizabethtown) never got off the ground. No other customer for Artesian's proposed water treatment facility materialized. Artesian approached Georgetown to take its wastewater, but Georgetown turned them down. Artesian approached Rehoboth Beach, but was again turned down.
Enter Allen Harim, a large Korean company which operates a poultry processing facility in Harbeson, Delaware. The company, which pulls between 1.5 and 2 million gallons of water per day for use in its poultry processing plant, currently treats that wastewater and releases it into Beaverdam Creek. The company has had countless violations of water quality standards, despite having obtained a multi-million dollar low-interest loan from the State of Delaware to re-build its on-site wastewater treatment plant. The local community in Harbeson has been vocal in its complaints about the pollution and smells emanating from the facility.In May 2017, Artesian submitted to DNREC an amended permit application for the project now known as ANSRWRF. Instead of building a treatment facility for the needs of neighboring communities, the proposal has now morphed into a program to benefit one corporate polluter: Allen Harim. The new proposal is to run pipes along Routes 5, 9 and 30 from Allen Harim 8 miles to the site outside Milton. In those pipes, Allen Harim will send out its effluent - between 1.5 and 2 million gallons per day. Artesian has requested DNREC approval to accept this wastewater and to store it in a 90 million gallon lagoon. Weather and ground conditions permitting, the stored wastewater will be sprayed on agricultural fields in and around the area, near homes, communities, streams and ponds.