Dover Residents Asked To Conserve Water After Sewer Main Break


Several government agencies issued statements tonight regarding a sewer main break in Dover.

Earlier this afternoon, the Kent County Levy Court said  Kent County experienced a sewer force main break near Carroll’s Plaza in Dover. DNREC has been notified and water flows are being diverted to minimize the overflow and allow repairs. While repair efforts are underway, the next step will be to clean up and to sample downstream waterways to measure bacteria levels.

DNREC later said the Kent County Levy Court Public Works is currently addressing a force main break, causing wastewater to flow into the St. Jones River. The public should avoid contact with the water in the St. Jones at the area of the leak.

Kent County Levy Court Public Works is working into the night with environmental contractors to repair the main, with staff from the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control onsite assessing the situation. While one of the largest water lines in the county is shut down for repairs to the sanitary sewage system, residents should limit water usage to consumption only, such as for cooking, drinking water, using the toilet, or dripping water to prevent pipes from freezing.

The sewer overflow – which occurred when the force main ruptured near Kent County’s pumping station along its Puncheon Run line – was reported to DNREC in the afternoon of Wednesday, Feb. 17. DNREC Division of Water and Levy Court wastewater staff are accessing the area of the St. Jones River impacted by today’s spill to assess the situation there as well.


The City of Dover issued the following statement on their Facebook page: “There is a county sewer main break just north of Carroll’s Plaza on Rt. 13. Due to it being a main line if everyone can try to reserve water throughout the night while Kent County makes the repair it would be greatly appreciated! By reserving water it will help alleviate the flow making it easier to do the repair.
Thanks everyone!!!”

Kent County residents first learned of the sewer main break when First State Update reported that a reader was driving by as the rupture occurred.

“Heads up – Rt 13 SB lanes right before state street in Dover. In front of Connections. Smells like a sewage leak – very pungent fumes of yuck. Water coming from asphalt. Suspected poo water now getting into SB lanes of traffic.”

“It was huge, like a tidal wave. I have a feeling it may impede traffic, so wanted to give you guys the heads up. ”

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First State Update's Delaware editorial team covers New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County breaking news, political news, and general news stories. We bring the reader the latest news from the Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Rehoboth Beach and all point in between. If you have news to share, email us at

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