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16.5 Million Gallons of Sewage Overflow Into Baltimore County Waterways

The Baltimore County Public Works Department reported Monday night that 12 pumping stations that lost power on Sunday during Hurricane Irene resulted in overflows.

Nearly 17 million gallons of sewage overflowed Sunday into 10 different rivers and streams throughout Baltimore County as a result of at a dozen pumping stations, county officials reported Monday.

Five stations in the county’s southeast overflowed—Delmar, Masseth Avenue, Chesapeake Terrace, Hyde Park and Fort Howard, according to the Baltimore County Department of Public Works press release. In the north, the , Buchanan Road and Texas pump stations overflowed. And on the west side, the Frederick Road, Valley Village and Carroll Avenue stations spilled over.

The 8:26 p.m. press release on Monday stated that the sewage overflows occurred on Sunday.

County officials also reported Monday night that they had discovered a “rupture in a 54-inch diameter pressure line” from the Patapsco Sewage Pump Station located east of Old Annapolis Road shortly before midnight on Sunday, according to a press release from the public works department.

“The pipe transports about 17 million gallons of sewage daily from the western half of the County to the Patapsco Treatment Plant in Baltimore City. The overflow is on-going,” the county reported Monday night.

Spiniello Companies, Inc. was hired to replace the line with assistance from Baltimore City and the Washington Sanitary Sewer Commission, the agency reported.

“Engineers expect that the repair can be completed in four days,” the press release stated.

The county Department of Health's website stated that "the general water quality may be degraded by surface run-off and potential sewage overflows resulting from power outages and heavy rains associated with Hurricane Irene.” 

“Persons who have open cuts or wounds or who are health compromised should avoid contact with cloudy or debris strewn waters," the website stated Monday night.

According to the website, these bodies of water are “known to have been directly affected by sewage overflows”:

  • The south of Ilchester Road, continuing to the river mouth.
  • Jones Falls, east of Greenspring Valley Road.
  • Beaver Dam Run, east of Recycle Way.
  • Brice Run, south of Liberty Road.
  • Lake Roland, south of Bellona Avenue.
  • , east of Philadelphia Road.
  • , southwest of Maryland Route 702.
  • Chink Creek, south of Wise Avenue.
  • , south of Sparrows Point Road
  • south of Bay Front Road.

Similar overflows have been reported across the state. The Washington Post reported Monday that "the Maryland Department of the Environment reported that the storm caused the release of millions of gallons of waste into streams and rivers that flow into the Chesapeake Bay." 

Buck Harmon August 31, 2011 at 01:29 PM
Thanks for providing links to your posts, I appreciate your efforts Buzz.
Buzz Beeler August 31, 2011 at 07:31 PM
Buck, I always try and be truthful and as accurate as I can. I make mistakes like all of us do and don't mind accepting responsibility for them. I know that our voices are being heard. Patch is front and center as the focal point of county government. They make it a point to read it on a daily basis. Thanks for your comment.
David September 07, 2011 at 12:38 PM
Very interesting banter here but you all are like the politicians we abhor. Bickering back and forth, pointing fingers, lots of hot air but no real action. Buzz-I appreciate your efforts to back up the facts with links and articles. I truly grasp and behold the idea of accountability but the true meaning of the word escapes us. I read some of the broken sewer lines were upgraded, relined, and improved within the last 1.5 years. Who did the work? Isnt there a warranty? They obviously didn't do a proper job. I can hear it now, "the system wasn't built for these situations." Well, who designed the improvements? Who authorized the plans? Who handed out the contract? Why did they give the contract to whoever did the work? I am positive all the answers to the above questions will be laced with corruption, ineptitude, greed, and confidence the decision maker will never be called out. Accountability: it has to start somewhere, it has to start sometime. I am willing to commit my time, who wants to join me? Not sure how to get started but I am a fast learner. I am so sick of this country. I use to fight for the reputation of the USA amongst friends who were bitter. Now, sadly, I am one of them. This country is broke and we as a people will only fight and bicker over the ideas of how to fix but not a thing will ever be done to actually move forward. Very sad time in America. I really wish I was alive to see the Greatest Generation in action
Bart September 07, 2011 at 12:48 PM
How right you are David. As long as governments give out contracts to the lowest bidder, the lowest possible quality and warranties will be the rule. I live in the Towson/Lutherville area, which is chock full of watermains installed in the 60's by the lowest bidder. For more than a decade we have had regular and frequent watermain failures that are causing major damage to roadways, homes and businesses. The faulty pipes were of a poor quality, the company who did the work, AND the contractor are out of business. 40 years is not too old for pipes, either. When they did the excavation for the Towson Roundabout, they discovered a wooden water main from the 1800's, still in working order.
Buck Harmon September 07, 2011 at 01:49 PM
David, Your thoughts of where our country ( and counties) have come to are spot on... Stopping greed that is " in power" is a monumental task. Those in power realize that public apathy allows them to continue with their greed driven processes. I believe that small opportunities to convert some of this apathy to public power exist... this site is a clear example. The process of educating a dumbed down public is like swimming against a strong current though. Our society is similar to a drug addict.... we must hit rock bottom before the healing will begin. Each day will present you with a new opportunity to share the sentiment... turn apathy into action for some real "Greatest Generation" change. It worked for them! It takes a relentless commitment to effect change when things are this far out of control.

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