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Dover seeks help with wastewater system

Staff Writer | January 8, 2023 1:00 AM

DOVER — During the last few weeks, water processed at the city's wastewater plant has increased dramatically, Dover officials said Friday.

Part of the problem is the rain and snowmelt, which have created conditions allowing stormwater and groundwater to the wastewater system through drains and pipes, Dover officials wrote in a letter to system users.

"This clean runoff is then fully treated by the wastewater system," officials said. "The excess demand on the city wastewater system is a concern that affects all sewer users."

That demand is causing problem, officials said.

"Our wastewater treatment plant and operators have been recognized as one of the finest in the state and overall plant performance is very good," officials said in the letter. "However, the excess flow stresses the plant and consumes capacity which won’t be available for future users."

It also means higher costs.

"[I]f there are fewer users on the system, fewer users must share the costs of operation," officials said.

To help, Dover officials said there are several things residents can do, including conserving water and ensuring their septic lid is tightly fastened.

They also reminded system users that sump tanks should not be drained into the city system, nor should stormwater and groundwater be diverted into sewer drains or septic tanks.

Officials said discharging such water into the system — including roof runoff and sump pump connections — violates city code.

"If you currently have one of these connections, please contact City Hall immediately to discuss a resolution so that we can work together to protect our wastewater system and avoid any enforcement action," officials said.

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