News Flash

Executive - Press Release

Posted on: April 11, 2018

Take the pledge to keep New Castle County’s environment clean

Sign the “Great Schools Clean Streams” pledge at greatschoolscleanstreams.org today

New Castle, DE – This week, New Castle County kicked off its annual Great Schools, Clean Streams campaign, which raises awareness of the dangers of pouring household grease and oils down the drain and into the wastewater treatment system. The campaign calls on all residents to visit greatschoolscleanstreams.org to sign an online pledge to properly dispose of used cooking grease and throw it in the trash. Each participant assigns their pledge to the public, charter, or private school of their choice in New Castle County and the schools that collect the most pledges win cash awards they can use to purchase classroom materials and to support school projects.

The Great Schools Clean Streams campaign runs through April 27.

“Create a cleaner environment by collecting leftover cooking grease in a can and throwing it in the trash,” County Executive Matt Meyer said. “That simple act reduces pollution in our streams and saves cleanup costs by keeping our county sewer system clear. Sign our Great Schools Clean Streams pledge today.”

A total of nineteen schools from three categories - schools with less than 200 students, 200-599 students, and 600 or more students – will win cash awards in 2018. First, second and third place awards from each category will receive awards of $1,250, $750 and $500, and all schools with 50 or more pledges will be entered into a wild card drawing for one of ten $250 awards.

New Castle County’s Department of Special Services maintains the state’s largest wastewater treatment system with more than 1,700 miles of sanitary sewer lines that serve 118,000 customers and takes in more than 50 millions of gallons each day. Cooking grease and oils poured down the drain build up in that system over time and are a leading cause of sewer blockages, backups and spills which harm the environment and create significant cleanup costs. Through more effective monitoring, regular cleaning and public education county government has cut the number of backups and overflows since 2005 by two-thirds. Reduced overflows makes a difference in environmental quality and saves taxpayers money and that’s why county government sponsors this annual education campaign as part of its investment in a more efficient and effective wastewater treatment system.

The 2018 Great Schools Clean Streams campaign was launched this week with a demonstration of closed circuit television (CCTV) monitoring technology used to inspect Delaware’s largest sanitary sewer system for sewer blockages and a demonstration of high powered spray jets used to keep New Castle County’s sewer lines clear. Click here to watch the NCCTV video production of this demonstration event.

Since Monday’s launch, more than 2,100 people have signed the Great Schools Clean Streams pledge. Last year campaign netted more than 6,000 pledges.

New Castle County wastewater treatment system quick facts:

  • 50+ Million Gallons of Wastewater Daily
  • 1,700 Miles of Sanitary Sewer lines
  • 44,000 Man Holes
  • 150 Pumping Stations
  • 500+ miles of sewer line cleaned annually

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Contact: Jason Miller, Director of Communications, 302-545-1462

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