Biologist: RV City Poses Threat To Aquifer

Apr 08, 2013 -- 12:10pm

Dr. Steve Britz, a biologist who lives in the Webb's Landing development, has analyzed the data from a study by the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) on the properties of the water table, soil and aquifer around the site of the proposed 162-acre, 628-lot RV City campground along Love Creek. The soil on the site is sandy, which drains well, but Britz says it's also susceptible to compacting and erosion.

The study showed that the soil on the entire site scored poorly when it was evaluated for aquifer-fed, excavated ponds. Britz says that means the soil is unsuitable for any type of excavation. The developer has proposed excavating to build retention ponds to hold stormwater runoff from the site. However, Britz says with the high water table (less than three to six feet under the surface), the lack of soil under the retention ponds would make them a direct channel for nutrients and other pollutants to flow into Love Creek, the Inland Bays, and even into nearby wells that tap into the aquifer.

DNREC conducted a land-use survey of the site, and recommended an increased buffer between the campground and the creek, using pervious surfaces, as well as rain gardens to reduce runoff and absorb nutrients that would otherwise flow into the creek. Britz says the campground developer rejected all of those recommendations, and that's what got him to look for more information. He says the NRCS study runs counter to the presentations the developer has made to the Sussex County Council and Planning and Zoning Commission.

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