Sewage spill could harm water quality

September 14, 2000|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A 10.3 million-gallon sewage spill into a Chesapeake Bay tributary last week could cause significant problems to local water quality, including explosions of algae and bacteria levels thousands of times higher than normal, environmental experts said yesterday.

In a letter to the Maryland Department of the Environment about the massive spill at Colgate Creek near Dundalk, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation asked state regulators to make sure defective equipment is fixed at a city Department of Public Works pumping station in Southeast Baltimore and to determine if any permit violations contributed to the accident.

The spill - the second major sewage discharge in Baltimore's harbor in a year - sent untreated sewage into the shallow creek for more than 30 hours after a 45-year-old valve broke at the pumping station off of Broening Highway.

Last September, 24 million gallons of raw sewage spilled from a pumping station into Baltimore's Inner Harbor when heavy rainfall from a tropical storm flooded the facility.

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