Workers stop sewage flow into city's Chinquapin Run Herring Run has had similar problem, caused by recent heavy rains

June 30, 1996|By Tanya Jones | Tanya Jones,SUN STAFF

City work crews yesterday stopped the flow of raw sewage into Chinquapin Run in Northeast Baltimore and were expected to stop the sewage flowing into Herring Run last night, according to a spokesman with the Department of Public Works.

The sewer lines that run beneath Chinquapin and Herring runs were damaged by the force of water from the heavy rains two weeks ago, allowing raw sewage to spew into the streams, said Kurt Kocher, the spokesman.

Public Works crews installed temporary pipes along both streams that will carry the sewage around the damaged sections.

But the work at Chinquapin Run was not done fast enough for community environmental activists, who yesterday posted hand-written signs and strung yellow "caution" tape on the stream bank near Chinquapin Parkway to warn residents of raw sewage that has been flowing into the water for at least a week.

They were tired of waiting for the city to post cautionary signs a week after residents first reported the pollution between Northern Parkway and Belvedere Avenue, said Bob Whitby, president of the Herring Watershed Association.

Before the temporary bypass began, the effluent bubbled into the stream like a small fountain, turning the water a cloudy gray.

Lynn Kramer, a member of the association, said she has tried to warn people, such as a young boy and his dog she saw by the stream earlier this week, about the polluted water.

The city posted Department of Health warning signs at Herring Run -- near Cold Spring Lane -- but did not have enough for the Chinquapin area, Kocher said.

"Perhaps we should have some more signs available," he said. "We considered the Herring Run situation more crucial."

Residents from the Chinquapin area said they reported the pollution to the department's emergency service last Sunday and Monday. But Public Works Director George G. Balog said he was first notified of the Chinquapin problem Thursday.

City Council members Joan Carter Conway and Martin O'Malley of the 3rd District came to Chinquapin Run yesterday to see the damage. Conway said she planned to write Balog tomorrow to see if his department could speed the repair. O'Malley said a major overhaul of the Herring Run sewer shed, including the lines under Chinquapin Run, is at least a year away.

The design phase of the overhaul will cost $1.7 million, Koch said. He did not know how much the overhaul itself would cost.

In the meantime, city crews and contractors will clear the rocks and sediment that have blocked the lines and will repair the storm damage, Koch said. They will use nonchlorinated water from Lake Montebello to flush Herring Run and wait for rain to flush Chinquapin Run.

Pub Date: 6/30/96

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