Delaware Public Media


Katie Peikes / Delaware Public Media

Milton-area residents are concerned about potential groundwater contamination from a plan to dispose poultry giant Allen Harim’s treated wastewater onto agricultural land in their area.

Artesian Resources Corporation, which is building a wastewater storage and recycling facility to work with Allen Harim, says it already operates and maintains a successful wastewater treatment facility in Middletown.

Katie Peikes / Delaware Public Media

Milton-area residents are pushing back on a plan that will stop poultry giant Allen Harim’s Harbeson chicken plant from discharging treated wastewater into a Sussex County creek. 


The plan calls for Allen Harim to pipe its treated wastewater eight miles to a facility northwest of Milton owned by water resources company Artesian Resources Corporation. The water will be stored at the facility and sprayed onto nearby land.

But some residents fear their wells will be contaminated, and they’re calling for more investigation as Artesian begins to construct its new facility.

Katie Peikes / Delaware Public Media

Artesian Water Resources has been given the go-ahead by the state to construct a new wastewater storage facility north of Milton.

Once it’s finished, poultry giant Allen Harim will stop discharging its treated wastewater into Beaverdam Creek and will send it to Artesian’s facility instead. That water will then be sprayed onto several fields in Milton.

Many residents oppose this plan, worrying their wells will be contaminated.

But a resident who lives next to Beaverdam Creek says this move by the two partners will help clean up the creek.

Delaware Public Media’s Katie Peikes sat down with that resident, Jeanette Wagner, to talk about what she has seen in the creek over the years and what she thinks of Allen Harim and Artesian’s agreement.