2.4 million gallons of sewer overflow spills into Back River

City officials say waste emanated from Essex treatment plant

August 16, 2011|By Staff Reports

The Baltimore City Department of Public Works said Tuesday that an estimated 2.4 million gallons of sewer overflow spilled into the Back River in Baltimore County on Sunday, Aug. 14, emanating from the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant inEssex.

Officials of the city public works department — which operates the treatment plant — said in a release that the spill lasted from about 12:20 to 2 p.m.

Officials said the cause of the spill is mostly attributable to the heavy rainfall, much of which infiltrated sewer lines resulting in inflow at the facility above normal levels.

In addition, capacity to handle such the flow was temporarily reduced due to construction upgrades at the plant, according to the public works release.

As a result of the spill into the waters, Baltimore County has issued a "Water Contact Alert" for Back River, and has posted warnings at the beach at Rocky Point and also Cox's Point and Edgemere parks as a precaution, according to city officials.

According to the county's web site, Water Contact Alerts are issued when dangerous levels of bacteria are present, prohibit activities at regulated beaches and indicate a public health risk.

Information on these postings is also available at http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/health/environmentalhealth/watersampling/alertadvisory.html.

The Maryland Department of the Environment and the Baltimore City and Baltimore County health departments have been notified.

For more information about health concerns as a result of the overflows, contact the Baltimore City Health Department at 410-396-4422 or the Baltimore County Health Department at 410-887-3663.

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