Del. Kipke to lead briefing on sewage system

January 18, 2009

Del. Nicholaus R. Kipke, Pasadena Republican, will lead a public briefing by the Anne Arundel County delegation to the Maryland House of Delegates on the condition of the county's public sewage treatment system at 10 a.m. Friday in the Delegation Room of the House Office Building in Annapolis.

Kipke has asked the County Department of Public Works and the Maryland Department of the Environment to provide an overview on the state of the system, address concerns over failing pumping stations, and allow for questions from the delegation. "I requested this briefing because I am concerned over failing pumping stations and numerous raw-sewage spills that are pouring into already polluted creeks and rivers," Kipke said. "Northern Anne Arundel County contains extensive shoreline, and recent observations indicate that the level of pollution continues to increase and expand beyond historically polluted areas.

"Even now, three major creeks are under a limited-use advisory in Glen Burnie and Pasadena, because of high bacteria levels, including Marley, Furnace and much of Rock Creek," he said.

According to Kipke, a major polluter is Cox Creek Water Reclamation Center, which is undergoing a multimillion-dollar upgrade designed to greatly reduce pollution that reaches the Patapsco River. But concerns remain over treatment plant capacities and the route sewage travels to reach the facilities.

"While there has been a lot of attention placed on failing residential septic systems, I believe it is important that we also place a magnifying glass on the public sewage system," Kipke said. "It seems to me that this may be the larger polluter, considering thousands of gallons of raw sewage spill directly into our creeks each year."

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