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State: Delaware wastewater plant suffers another malfunction

January 3, 2020 GMT

LEWES, Del. (AP) — A wastewater treatment plant in Delaware has experienced another malfunction causing partially-treated sewage to flow into a canal.

The plant was forced to bypass some stages of treatment for about two hours on Wednesday night, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control said in a news release. The partially-treated wastewater flowed into the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal.

Pressure buildup behind membranes that filter flow caused the malfunction, the release states.

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Tidewater Utilities operates the plant. The utility consulted with the membrane manufacturer and implemented new protocols to keep another malfunction from occurring, according to the DNREC.

The plant had to bypass stages of wastewater treatment for several days in December. That malfunction caused an environmental violation, DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin said. The agency is investigating before determining appropriate action, according to the release.