Green Delaware Press Release
Contact: Alan Muller, 302.834.3466, email@example.com, www.greendel.org
to stencil warning notices on raw sewage overflows in
When: April 20, 2001, at eleven am
Where: Brandywine (State)
Park, Wilmington, Delaware.
One of the jewels of Delaware's state park system is Brandywine Park, which follows the banks of Brandywine Creek for over a mile through the City of Wilmington. But, about seven pipes called "Combined Sewer Overflows" dump raw sewage into the park during rain. A few signs say "This waterway may contain raw sewage or disease-causing organisms ... please avoid swimming or other water contact." However, park staff make no effort to keep visitors to the state facility out of the water, and on warm days whole families can be seen wading and swimming in the sewage-laden water. Diseases transmitted by exposure to sewage include dysentery, cholera, hepatitis, meningitis, diarrhea, and worms.
Green Delaware has been asking officials of the Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation to keep park visitors out of the water until the sewage dumping can be stopped, but officials haven't acted. Parks director Chaz Salkin said he had "no jurisdiction over the river." Delaware Parks is part of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. Another part of the same agency, the Division of Water Resources, has issued permits allowing the sewage dumping. A bill in the Delaware legislature, HB 195, would outlaw the sewer overflows, but the Dept. of Natural Resources has so far not supported the bill.
Comment from Alan Muller, Executive Director of Green Delaware:
"State officials have made physical improvements to the park; it's hard to understand their disregard for the health of visitors. We think it's unfair and possibly negligent to invite people to a recreational facility and expose them to serious health hazards."Green Delaware will stencil Combined Sewer Overflows with "DANGER RAW SEWAGE."
More information on the Wilmington combined sewer overflows, and images of some, can be found at www.greendel.org.
People not able to attend are asked to contact Del. Gov Ruth Ann Minner (firstname.lastname@example.org, 302.577.3210, or 302.739.4101) and ask her to protect visitors to Delaware state parks from exposure to sewage.
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page was last updated on April 21, 2001.