drainage photo

Sewage Spill in Olney

The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) reports that sewage from a Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO) continues to enter Reddy Branch Creek, initially at a wooded area near 19612 Olney Mill Road in Olney, Maryland.

The SSO was discovered at 11:30 a.m. on March 5, from a 16-inch force main. A force main is a sewer main under pressure, as opposed to other mains which use gravity, according to WSSC.

On March 6, WSSC reported that most of the overflow is coming from manholes near the Reddy Branch Wastewater Pumping station at 2611 Brighton Dam Road in the Brookeville/Olney area.

The pumping station was shut down to relieve pressure on the force main and facilitate repair of the break, WSSC officials said. According to a news release on the WSSC web site: “The flow rate has varied, ranging up to 500 gallons per minute. People staying home because of the storm may be adding to the flow.”

So far, WSSC workers have not pinpointed the break. According to the news release, crews have found the pipe near several other underground utility lines which is making the effort more difficult.

Signs have been posted warning citizens to avoid the overflow areas and WSSC crews have been assigned to clean up any debris.

The cause remains undetermined. WSSC will provide additional information once the break has been repaired and more details are known.

In case you are wondering, the Maryland Department of the Environment and the Montgomery County Department of the Environmental Protection have been notified of the situation.

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