Rehoboth Beach right on schedule to complete Wastewater Ocean Outfall Project
The Wastewater Ocean Outfall has been in the works since October and now it's finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
It's a three-mile pipeline pumping treated wastewater into the ocean. It starts at the Waste Water Plant and goes 6,000 feet offshore. And the toughest job so far has been underwater.
Mayor Paul Kuhns says, "Once they dug the trench, that trench was about 2,000 feet, it was about 12 feet underneath the surface of the sand, which is about 30 feet underneath the surface of the water. They put the pipe in there and then buried that trench and then the pipe."
Mayor Kuhns says the project will also upgrade their plants, "So the actual treated waste water is very similar to that you would empty your swimming pool at the end of the year, it's chlorinated and that's what really going into the ocean now."
But this process hasn't always coasted along. They've seen several delays due to the weather.
But the storm wasn't just brewing on the water. Environmental activists also raised concerns.
Chair of the Surfrider foundation, Kevin Chandler says, "The biggest concern is the water quality. Even though the bacteria levels may disappear in the ocean, some of it still exists in the sand, wet or dry sand, for up to a week or more."
The city has pushed through and finished the work on the water. But they're not done just yet with the work on land.
On May 1st, commissioners approved an order for a modification to their paving on Henlopen Avenue. They needed an additional $300,000. We're told it was important for this change since they realized they needed a stronger foundation for Henlopen Avenue.
Mayor Kuhns says they should be finished by their mandated date of June 1st.