Sussex County wins Conservation Stewardship Award for drainage project

Georgetown, Del., March 12, 2024: Sussex County is awash in praise for its efforts to solve drainage issues and protect the environment.

The Sussex Conservation District on Thursday, March 7, recognized the County’s Engineering team, along with numerous other winners, during the organization’s annual Conservation Stewardship Awards luncheon ceremony. Now in its third year, SCD recognizes those organizations that have exceeded Delaware sediment and stormwater regulations to prepare, protect and preserve sensitive natural resources in Sussex County.

Presented with the award for design, Sussex County Engineering was lauded for its development and implementation of a $12 million project to alleviate drainage issues in and around the County’s Inland Bays Regional Wastewater Facility east of Millsboro, where ponding of water has been an ongoing issue for some soils, particularly during wetter months. The drainage improvements project, which began in February 2023 and is on pace to be finished this summer, incorporates a unique and innovative blend of best practices to solve the problem.

With the improvements, including two miles of bioswales, a 30-foot wooded buffer, extended detention wet ponds and traditional stormwater wetlands, the project aims to curtail flooding, as well as reduce runoff into nearby creeks. In addition, traditional crops used to take up water in spray irrigation fields are being replaced with a meadow grass mix to support native species.

“We are honored to receive this award,” County Administrator Todd F. Lawson said. “This is a win, not just for our talented and hard-working staff, including our retiring County Engineer, Mr. Hans Medlarz, but for our customers and the environment we are entrusted to protect.”


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