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About the Division of Water

The Division of Water manages and protects water resources through various programs by providing technical assistance, laboratory services, regulatory guidance and implementation, educational services; performing applied research; and helping finance water pollution control measures. Our staff serves through the protection of water resources for Delaware's visitors and residents.

The Division of Water consists of six sections:

Division Management Section (Virgil Holmes, Director) – coordinates division operations and provides centralized information management, fiscal, personnel, and legal services. The section also administers the water utility certification program and provides a link with external programs including the Delaware River Basin Commission and Delaware Emergency Management Agency. (302) 739-9950

Environmental Laboratory Section (Sergio Huerta, M.D., Administrator) – operates a full-service environmental laboratory to test and assess water, air, soil, hazardous materials, and biological samples. Water quality and biological monitoring of surface waters is an important section function. Fee-for service quality environmental testing is provided to a variety of customers in a cost-effective manner. The section performs basic water quality testing for Delaware citizens at no charge. (302) 739-9942

Ground Water Discharges Section (Dave J. Schepens, Program Manager II) – conducts site reviews, field checks and approves site evaluations for the installation of septic systems, underground injection wells, spray irrigation wastewater systems, and other systems associated with wastewater treatment. This section also issues sludge transport permits and licenses to septic system designers, percolation testers, site evaluators, and system installers. (302) 739-9948

Surface Water Discharges Section (Bryan Ashby, Program Manager II) – issues permits for industrial and municipal wastewater treatment systems (including storm water) and sludge management. Technical assistance is provided directly to wastewater treatment facilities to help address operational problems. The section also provides support to the Board of Certification that licenses wastewater treatment plant operators. (302) 739-9946

Water Supply Section (John Barndt, P.G., Program Manager II) – issues well and water allocation permits and licenses to well contractors/drillers and pump contractors/installers. Section responsibilities also include statewide drought management, ground water quality monitoring, wellhead and source water protection programs, and water withdrawal quantities in coordination with the Delaware River Basin Commission. (302) 739-9945 

Wetlands and Subaqueous Lands Section (Steve Smailer, Program Manager II) – provides permitting services for activities that affect subaqueous lands, tidal wetlands, and marinas. Tidal maps of wetlands and planning for the resource management of these natural resources are also provided. (302) 739-9943

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