Pipe rupture sends sewage into St. Jones River between Dover and Bowers
Clarification: This story has been updated to clarify the role played by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.
Though there is little chance anyone has plans to swim in the St. Jones River in February, any would-be polar plungers should consider themselves warned: The river is full of sewage.
A broken Kent County sewer main caused wastewater to flow into the St. Jones between Dover and Bowers on Wednesday night, according to a state news release. The public should avoid contact with the water in the area of the leak.
Environmental contractors and the Kent County Levy Court Public Works are working on repairs, according to the news release. The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is onsite monitoring the situation.
The main ruptured near Kent County’s pumping station along its Puncheon Run line, the release states.
While the work is ongoing, nearby residents should limit water usage to consumption only, such as for cooking, drinking water, using the toilet or dripping water to prevent pipes from freezing, the state advises.
The state did not release further information, such as the amount of waste spilled or the cause of the rupture.
It is unclear at this time whether there will be any charges in connection with this incident.
Emergency questions or concerns about this situation from the public may be directed to the DNREC Environmental Crimes Unit at 800-662-8802. Non-emergency questions can be directed to Kent County Levy Court Public Works at 302-744-2430.
Environmental watchdog reporter Julia Rentsch can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.