Browns Bridge Recreation Area Closed Following Leaks on Sewer Main

Drinking Water System Not Affected

| News Release



Sewage Overflow Area SignLaurel – July 30, 2015 – In an abundance of caution, WSSC is closing the Browns Bridge Recreation Area for 30 days following two Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs) that occurred on July 29 and July 30 in Olney. WSSC is also voluntarily increasing water testing to monitor the water quality of the stream, river and reservoirs.

The estimated total volume of the two SSO events is 994,226 gallons of wastewater, a portion of which flowed into Lake Hallowell and James Creek. James Creek feeds the Hawlings River, which joins the Patuxent River, then flows into WSSC’s  T. Howard Duckett Reservoir, popularly known as Rocky Gorge Reservoir (see map).

This overflow will not affect the drinking water. The raw sewage was diluted in the streams and will be further diluted by the 4.9 (b) billion gallons of water in the Rocky Gorge Reservoir. In addition, WSSC’s method of water filtration that treats the drinking water includes disinfection as part of the process. And, as always, testing of the water is conducted continuously.

Signs will be posted at WSSC’s Browns Bridge Recreation Area notifying residents that the recreation area is closed. Sanitary Sewer Overflow signs are being posted along the following roads in the affected area: Maryland Route 108, New Hampshire Avenue, Mink Hollow Road, Chandlee Mill Road, Haviland Mill Road and Pyrite Lane. Signs are currently posted warning residents to avoid the affected area, including signs around Lake Hallowell.

WSSC repair crews located a second leak on a 20-inch pressurized sewer main when the main was put back in service yesterday near 2110 Rose Theatre Circle in Olney. Repairs to the main were completed today.

The clean-ups at the two break sites and the nearby Olney Wastewater Pumping Station have been completed.

WSSC is committed to protecting the health of the public and the environment. With more than 5,400 miles of sewer mains throughout its service area, WSSC appreciates notification from citizens if a sewer back up or water main break is suspected. Contact our 24 hour Emergency Call Center at 301-206-4002 to report water or sewer emergencies in Montgomery or Prince George's counties. Customers can also report emergencies to or via the WSSC Mobile App.

WSSC Water is the proud provider of safe, seamless and satisfying water services, making the essential possible every day for our neighbors in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. We work to deliver our best because it’s what our customers expect and deserve.

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