***Wednesday Evening UPDATE*** Sanitary Sewer Overflow near Reddy Branch Creek Continues
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS AND COMMUNITY RELATIONS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Laurel – March 6, 2013: Sewage from a Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO) continues to flow near Reddy Branch Creek, off of Olney Mill Road, in Olney, Maryland. The SSO was discovered yesterday, from a broken 16-inch force main. A force main is a sewer main under pressure, as opposed to other mains that rely on gravity. Most of the current overflow is coming from manholes near the Reddy Branch Wastewater Pumping Station at 2611 Brighton Dam Road in the Brookeville/Olney area. The pumping station was shut down to relieve pressure on the sewer main and facilitate repair of the break. At this point, it is estimated that over 600,000 gallons of wastewater has flown into Reddy Branch Creek.
WSSC crews and contractors have been on the scene all day working to shore up the pipe. While the broken pipe has been found, and the site is being excavated, they have not pinpointed the exact location of the break. The pipe is located near several other underground utility lines which, along with challenging weather conditions, is making the effort more difficult.
Signs warning citizens to avoid the overflow areas have been posted and WSSC crews will clean up any debris. The Maryland Department of the Environment and the Montgomery County Department of the Environmental Protection have been notified of the situation.
The exact cause of the break is unknown.
WSSC is committed to protecting the health of the public and the environment. With nearly 5,400 miles of sewer mains throughout its service area, WSSC appreciates notification from citizens if a sewer back up is suspected. Citizens can call 301-206-4002 or toll free 1-800-828-6439 at any time to report water or sewer emergencies in Prince George's or Montgomery counties.
For 100 years, WSSC has proudly served the citizens of Prince George’s and Montgomery counties – providing drinking water that has always met strict Safe Drinking Water Act standards and protecting the environment through vital water resource recovery services. Our vision is to be THE world-class water utility, where excellent products and services are always on tap.