HARBESON – Allen Harim has reached an agreement with Artesian Wastewater Management, Inc., that means the poultry company’s Harbeson chicken processing plant will at some point in the future no longer discharge any wastewater into nearby Beaverdam Creek.
During the next 18 months, Artesian will construct a pipeline that will take the facility’s treated wastewater to Artesian’s Northern Sussex Water Recycling Facility north of Milton. From there, Artesian will use it for spray irrigation on agricultural land.
“This will be a game changer for our Harbeson facility,” said Allen Harim President and CEO Joe Moran. “We’ve been discussing this idea with Artesian for nearly nine months and we are pleased to be able to move forward with this plan. Our goal all along has been to reduce our impact to Beaverdam Creek, and this solution eliminates it altogether.”
Allen Harim was granted a “change in scope” to its planned wastewater treatment plant upgrade (known as Phase Two) from Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) last month.
During Phase Two, the company had planned to build additional wastewater treatment units, a filtration unit and a water reuse plant. Instead, Artesian will manage the disposal of all the treated wastewater generated at the Harbeson facility.
DNREC, which loaned Allen Harim $11.5 million to finance the expansion and upgrade of its wastewater treatment facility, also agreed to direct $5 million of the remaining loan balance to fund a one-time impact fee to Artesian, which will be making a $17 million investment in infrastructure for the disposal of the treated wastewater.
The Environmental Protection Agency also approved the new plan.
“Artesian is very pleased to provide a solution for Allen Harim that will allow its treated wastewater to be reclaimed for irrigation, thus reducing nutrients in our rivers, streams and bays while also making farming more financially viable,” said Dian C. Taylor, President and CEO of Artesian. “Use of reclaimed wastewater for irrigation of agricultural land preserves groundwater supplies and maintains the local natural water cycle,” she noted.
Headquartered in Seaford, Allen Harim operates a chicken processing facility in Harbeson; a hatchery in Dagsboro, a breeding operation in Liberty, NC; and a hatchery and feed mill in Seaford.
The company employs more than 1,750 people in the United States, as well as more than 230 independent growers and 20 company farms across Delmarva.
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