Sewage spills into Bush River in Harford

July 07, 2006|By MARY GAIL HARE | MARY GAIL HARE,SUN REPORTER

More than 1 million gallons of partially treated sewage overflowed tanks at a wastewater treatment plant in the Edgewood area of Aberdeen Proving Ground yesterday.

The spill from a chlorination tank at the plant occurred during the early morning hours, while 23,940 gallons of raw sewage overflowed from a holding tank. Both spills emptied into the Bush River.

Excessive rainfall probably caused the partially treated sewage to wash over the edge of the tank and also led to the spillage of the untreated sewage, said George Mercer, public affairs officer at APG.

"We have adequate capacity, but the rain was just too much input for us to handle," Mercer said. "We have worked to prevent these events and have more prevention work to do."

The area, which is already off limits to the public, is posted with warnings to avoid fishing, swimming or any contact with the water for the next 30 days, he said.

APG notified the Harford County Health Department and the Maryland Department of the Environment as soon as the spill was detected. Base officials will monitor the area of the spill to determine water quality for at least a month, Mercer said.

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