Donovan Smith MHP Hit With 2nd Notice of Violation; Plans Confirmed To Connect With Lewes Wastewater System


A mobile home community off Savannah Road will connect with the Lewes Board of Public Works sewer system, according to the Delaware Department of Natural Resources.

The Donovan Smith community has been chosen as a pilot project in Delaware’s Clean Water Initiative for Underserved Communities. The community owner’s lender had to sign off on financing arrangements for the state-funded loan to proceed, and a conditional approval has been secured by the owner.

Residents have been living with foul-smelling sewage bubbling up to the surface, and many are drinking bottled water. Also, rats have been observed on the property.

β€œThere are a number of manufactured home communities in our state β€” especially downstate β€” with longtime septic issues where putting the cost of a sewer connection on the residents would be a tremendous financial burden. Finding a way to mandate the sewer connection without burdening the residents or possibly bankrupting the park β€” and leaving the residents without anywhere to live β€” is the tightrope we must walk, and which the state financing supported by Gov. Carney is making possible,” DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin said. β€œWe are working to make a difference in the lives of these residents and in the environment, one step at a time.”

DNREC has also issued a second Notice of Violation to the Donovan Smith community, after a compliance inspection and two environmental complaint investigations discovered additional wastewater treatment and disposal violations.
One of them involved a septic tank that collapsed, spewing wastewater and ponding onto the grounds, with no barrier or fencing to prevent people or pets coming into contact with untreated wastewater. The second NOV also highlights Donovan Smith ownership’s delays in required system pump-outs and submission of a corrective action plan.