UPDATE: WSSC Responds to Wastewater Spills at Western Branch Water Resource Recovery Facility
Excess Rainfall Overwhelms Facility Treatment Capacity
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS AND COMMUNITY RELATIONS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Drinking Water System NOT Impacted
Laurel, Md. – December 17, 2018 – WSSC experienced three wastewater spills totaling approximately 165,000 gallons at its Western Branch Water Resource Recovery Facility (WRRF) on Crain Highway in Upper Marlboro on Sunday, December 16.
The first spill began at about 5:00 a.m. on Sunday and lasted for about six hours. The second spill began at 6:00 p.m. and lasted for about seven hours, and the third spill began at approximately 6:45 p.m. and lasted for about six hours and 15 minutes. Partially treated, highly diluted wastewater reached the Western Branch Stream.
The Western Branch WRRF is designed to treat about 30 million gallons of wastewater per day (MGD). During the historic rain event, the wastewater flow coming into the plant exceeded 90 MGD.
It is important to note that WSSC’s water and wastewater systems are separate. These spills are NOT affecting WSSC’s drinking water.
WSSC has made appropriate notifications to the Maryland Department of the Environment and the Prince George’s County Health Department.
WSSC is committed to protecting the health of the public and the environment. With more than 5,500 miles of sewer mains throughout its service area, WSSC appreciates notifications from citizens if a sewer overflow or water main break is suspected. Citizens can call WSSC’s 24-hour Emergency Call Center at 301-206-4002 to report water or sewer emergencies in Prince George’s or Montgomery counties. Customers can also report emergencies via email at email@example.com and those customers who have smart phones can report emergencies using the WSSC Mobile App.
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.