Mobile Home Park Seeks Support For Sewer System

SNOW HILL – County officials agreed this week to send the Maryland Department of the Environment a letter in support of a Bishopville mobile home park’s plans for a new sewer system.

The Worcester County Commissioners on Tuesday voted unanimously to send the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) a letter in support of plans for a new sewer system at Riverview Mobile Home Park. The park can’t expand without the new system, which MDE officials have concerns about.

“The state’s being a bear on this to put it mildly,” said Bob Mitchell, the county’s director of environmental programs.

The connections of Riverview Mobile Home Park, located on Shell Mill Road in Bishopville, have been working for several years on expansion plans. They’d like to bring the park from its current 68 sites to the roughly 115 sites initially planned for the property. That can’t happen, however, without the construction of a sewer system, as the property is currently on septic.

“What’s being proposed is a treatment plant that would allow the development of other low-income housing in this development that is currently not built out,” said Weston Young, the county’s chief administrative officer.

The proposed plant would discharge into an area that drains to the Bishopville Prong. That, Young explained, is why MDE doesn’t like the plan.

“The state’s holdup is the water body that they’re discharging to is impaired for phosphorous …,” he said. “With a treatment plant, that’s going to remove over 1,000 pounds of nitrogen, it is going to add a trace amount of phosphorous and that seems to be a deal breaker for them.”

Mitchell said the park owner had requested the county’s help to come up with a solution that would allow the expansion to move forward and at the same time satisfy MDE.

“What we’ve put together in this packet is what we feel is a very reasonable suggestion where the developer will put upstream phosphorous removing best management practices in the ditches,” Young said. Those phosphorous traps should help remove phosphorous related to the mobile home park and help minimize any coming from area poultry houses.

“So we think on paper and what we’re presenting, we’re actually going to have a net phosphorous reduction in addition to the thousand-plus pounds of nitrogen removed,” Young said.

The commissioners agreed to send MDE a letter in support of Riverview Mobile Home Park’s proposal. Commissioner Jim Bunting, who represents the Bishopville area, said what the park proposed was a big improvement over the current situation, as the septic could fail.

“It’s within 100 feet of the water,” he said. “It’s not a good situation.”

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.