Seaford moving quickly to thwart possible threat to the environment

By Tony E. Windsor

City officials in Seaford are eager to take care of a potential environmental problem before it becomes a real issue to the Nanticoke River. During the Tuesday, Jan. 27, meeting of Seaford Mayor and Council, City Manager Dolores Slatcher shared information about an exposed sewer pipe located only 10-feet from the banks of the river at the end of Conwell Street. Slatcher said the pipe was recently discovered and because it is exposed and so close to the river, the city wants to take immediate action to assure there could not be a failure at that location. Because this is a sewer main that feeds into the municipal waste water treatment plant, this could result in exposure to the river and impact the surrounding fish, plant and wildlife. Slatcher said the area is being cleaned of brush to gain full access to the pipe so that special maintenance work can be done to secure the area between the pipe location and the shoreline. She said at preset the pipe is actually underwater during high tide. She said given concerns about such potential threats, including nearby tree roots, the city needs to bring in special materials, such as river rock, straw matting and rip-rap, to protect and stabilize the shoreline surrounding.

The matting, she said, will help to hold the soil in place and enable vegetation to grow. This in turn will keep soil in place and not allow it to wash out and create further erosion. Slatcher said it is critical that the work be done immediately because there is a window of time to get the maintenance complete before fish begin swimming more frequently in the area. "It is critical we get this done now," she said. "We have no [waste water] permit violations and we do not want to have any." She went on to say that as more and more erosion takes place along the shoreline of the river, there will be more situations that could be occurring in the future. The city seeks to be proactive with the issue of waste water treatment pipes located near the Nanticoke River. The project to repair the pipe at Conwell Street is estimated to cost about $10,000. This is an estimate and according to the price of the large river rocks, could be higher. The project is covering an area about 70-feet along the shoreline and 10-feet out to the river The money for the maintenance work is slated to come out of the city's sewer reserve fund.

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