Water use limited after Arundel sewage spill

December 18, 2005|By BRADLEY OLSON | BRADLEY OLSON,SUN REPORTER

Anne Arundel County officials are asking some county residents to limit their use of public water through the weekend after a major sewage spill in Arnold.

Health officials closed Mill Creek after a 36-inch pipe carrying sewage into the Mill Creek Pumping Station near Anne Arundel Community College collapsed yesterday morning, said Michael Bonk, deputy director for utility operations with the county's Department of Public Works.

The department is asking residents of Arnold, Severna Park, Pasadena and Millersville to limit showers, baths, dishwashing and toilet flushing.

Bonk said the pipe collapsed at 10 a.m. yesterday, creating a sinkhole 100 feet in diameter that clogged equipment at the pumping station. Contractors were working late last night to clean the area and build a "pump-around" to reconnect the pipe and pump sewage back into the pumping station. While the pipe is shut down, sewage will be pumped into the station from an above-ground pipe, Bonk said.

The pumping station normally handles about 3 million gallons a day, Bonk said. The size of the spill was unknown last night, but Bonk said it was more than 100,000 gallons.

Mill Creek will remain closed until further notice. A consultant likely will inspect the site this week to determine how to clean the creek. The spill is close to Ritchie Highway and College Parkway.

County Health Department officials advise people who come into contact with the water to wash immediately and thoroughly with soap and warm water. Clothing should also be washed.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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