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Summary of Sanitary Sewer Overflow on Saturday, May 23, 2015

Last Updated on May 26, 2015 at 10:20am | Board of Commissioners

On Saturday, May 23, 2015, at approximately 7:00 p.m., the Garrett County Department of Public Works – Utilities Division (DPW-U) Maintenance Division received a call notifying the department of a sanitary sewer leak at 106 Lake Forest Dr.  Upon receiving notification, response staff was dispatched to the location.  At approximately 7:07 p.m. DPW-U maintenance personnel arrived at 106 Lake Forest Drive and observed sewage surfacing at the intersection of the driveway of 106 Lake Forest Dr and Lake Forest Dr, and running downgrade to an adjacent stream and along Lake Forest Dr at a significant rate.  It was determined that the leak was from a 2-inch service lateral serving 88 Lake Forest Dr and 106 Lake Forest Dr.  At this time, maintenance personnel left to retrieve the Counties tanker truck and notified management.  The tanker was on site and pumping by approximately 8:00 p.m. and additional maintenance personnel were on site with excavation equipment by 9:00 p.m.   At this time, Caretake, Inc. was contacted to respond with a backup tanker truck to help contain the overflow while maintenance personnel attempted to find the corporation stop valve. 
Shortly after arriving on site, the tankers were setup on a rotating basis to capture the sewage spill and haul it to the DCL WWTP in an attempt prevent any further flow downgrade to the stream.  By approximately midnight DPW-U maintenance personnel had located the corporation stop and had shut off the ruptured line.  At this time the flow from the ruptured 2-inch service lateral had stopped.  As DPW-U personnel assessed the situation, it was determined that a 2-inch transition fitting adjacent to the corporation stop had split, causing the spill.  DPW-U maintenance staff completed repairs to the 2-inch service lateral and returned it to service by approximately 4:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 24.  Based on the rate of the spill and the pumping rate of the tankers, it was estimated the overflow volume that was not captured by the tankers was 15,000 gallons. 
At approximately 9:15 a.m. on Sunday, May 24, 2015, DPW-U personnel contacted the Garrett County Health Department (GCHD) and MDNR Lake Management to inform them of the sewer overflow.  Representatives of the GCHD met with DPW-U personnel at 10:00 a.m. to assess the situation.  At the same time, DPW-U personnel began sampling the stream and lake in the location of the overflow, and at upstream and downstream locations.  The area of the overflow, including the roadway and roadside ditches, were cleaned and hydrated lime was applied to the affected areas by DPW-U personnel.  A door-to-door notification was conducted and signs warning of the overflow were also posted at properties and docks along the shoreline in the affected area.  The posted warning signs and sampling will continue until results indicate normal levels.