Untreated Wastewater Spills Into Rehoboth Bay Waterway; Shellfish Harvesting Suspended


The Delaware Department of Natural Resources has issued an emergency closure of commercial and recreational harvest of oysters, clams and mussels in Rehoboth Bay after a spill from a residential sewer line in the Long Neck area.

According to DNREC, thousands of gallons of untreated wastewater were discharged into a waterway of Rehoboth Bay. The harvest closure will remain in effect for 21 days unless further spills occur.

DNREC also advises recreational users to limit water contact in Rehoboth Bay, particularly in the waters adjacent to where the spill occurred.

DNREC provided additional details Tuesday:

“The spill occurred when a plumbing contractor cut a sewer line in Mariner’s Cove mobile home park. It was reported to DNREC on Tuesday morning. The Delaware Natural Resources Police immediately dispatched an officer to the site. The spill had stopped”

“The 21-day moratorium on shellfish harvest is a federal guideline, to ensure the bivalves will be safe to eat after natural depuration. The shellfish industry, which has aquaculture leases in the closure area, has worked cooperatively during this closure to ensure that all product harvested in Delaware is of the highest quality, putting the safety of consumers first when making decisions to close and open areas to shellfish harvest. Information on shellfish harvesting areas is available on DNREC’s website at de.gov/shellfish.