Planners Back Showell Plant Conversion
SNOW HILL - The conversion of the Perdue wastewater plant in Showell for residential use got a positive recommendation from the Worcester County Planning Commission last week, with modifications which could be the basis for a new model of wastewater management.
ADC Builders plans to use 1,000 EDUs of 4,000 projected units of sewer, to be created out of converting the industrial Perdue wastewater plant, for 1,000 homes.
The planning commission decided to require the plant to use spray irrigation, eventually. Although the wastewater plant will need 18 to 24 months just to go through the permitting process, the ADC project will still be complete before the county has purchased and set up spray irrigation fields.
'We still think spray irrigation is the way to go,' said Carolyn Cummins, chair of the planning commission. 'We didn't think the discharge should go away completely.'
The planning commission agreed to let the project use the discharge permit initially and begin using spray irrigation in 2011. By 2017, the effluent must be disposed of entirely through spray irrigation.
The water discharge would be retained beyond that for emergency use, such as heavy rainfall.
'What we essentially agreed to, there was good reason for the county to keep the discharge to use in case of emergency,' Cummins said.
The county needs to take the lead on getting the discharge out of the water, Cummins said. Anyone else who wants to use capacity from that plant will need to do their part to improve water quality.
Developers, if the planning commission's recommendation is implemented, would need to pay into a fee in lieu fund, provide spray irrigation land, or perhaps run sewer lines to neighboring properties with septic service.
'I think what we're developing is a model we can use in the rest of the county,' Cummins said. 'The real key is not what we've done but when we take it to the commissioners, what they do.'
The planning commission will take its positive recommendation before the Worcester County Commissioners in May.
'I hope we'll be able to explain why we came to this conclusion,' she said.
County Commissioner Linda Busick, who represents the Showell area, said she has many questions about the idea. Busick was vocal about the development during last fall's campaign.'I am not at all bowled over by this offer for ADC,' she said. 'I don't see the need to rush ahead with this Perdue plant and this development.'