« on: March 29, 2012, 07:59:34 PM »
Md. Bans Swimming, Fishing, Kayaking In Patapsco River Due To Sewage Spill
March 29, 2012 7:49 PM
Reporting Alex DeMetrick
Local, News, Seen On, Syndicated Local, Watch + Listen
Chesapeake Bay, Fishing, Kayaking, Patapsco River, Sewage Spill, Shellfish Harvesting
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Tens of millions of gallons. That’s how much raw sewage has flowed into the Patapsco River this week.
Alex DeMetrick reports on how the spill happened and the effects downstream.
Raw sewage flooded the inside of this Baltimore County pumping station Sunday night.
“The weld on the pipe failed and allowed approximately an 8 inch to 12 inch hole to come into the pumping station,” said Edward C. Adams, Jr., director of the Baltimore County Department of Public Works (DPW). “We had to kick off the pumps, we had to let the overflow to occur to basically save the integrity of the station.”
When that happened, sewage flowed unchecked into the Patpsco River for the next four days.
“We’re estimating, right now, 55 million gallons,” Adams said.
It was finally stopped when a temporary network of new pipes called a ‘pump around’ bypassed the station, reconnecting a massive 84 inch line which carries the sewage to the Patapsco treatment plant.
This isn’t the first time this pumping station has had big problems.
Last year, after Hurricane Irene blew through the state, parts of that same pipeline blew out. It happened when power to the station was lost. Now, as then, warning signs went up and parts of the Chesapeake Bay are again off-limits to shellfish harvesting.
But with oyster season ending Friday, the ban is not expected to create much financial loss. But residue from the spill is still flowing downstream, despite work crews…
“Putting the quickest possible fix to stop the overflow,” Adams said.
…While saving the stations very expensive pumps.
Until the Department of the Environment declares the Patapsco safe, activities like swimming, fishing and kyaking are not allowed.
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