WSSC Investigates Cause of Sanitary Sewer Overflow in Hyattsville

Preliminary Findings Indicate Oil Substance in the Sewer System May Have Led to the Overflow Drinking Water System Not Affected

| News Release



Laurel, Md – April 19, 2018 – WSSC crews are working to determine the cause of a sanitary sewer overflow that began Thursday morning in the 4600 block of Annapolis Road near the Bladensburg Waterfront Park in the Hyattsville area of Prince George’s County. The overflow ended at approximately 11:49 a.m. The volume, which will be calculated based on wastewater flow data, is expected to be in excess of 10,000 gallons.

Crews arriving on the scene this morning found a significant amount of oil mixed with wastewater overflowing from a manhole near the Hyattsville Wastewater Pumping Station. It is possible that the oil caused a blockage in the sewer main, causing the overflow. WSSC crews are in the process of setting up a system to bypass the wastewater around the site of the blockage to inspect the pipe and determine the exact cause.

WSSC crews diverted the wastewater into an unlined storage pond located next to the pumping station. It is possible that diluted wastewater could impact the Anacostia River. WSSC is encouraging residents to avoid contact with the river in this area and downstream from the park. WSSC will post signs in the area affected by the overflow.

It is prohibited to discharge any wastes containing petroleum oil, non-biodegradable cutting oil, or products of mineral oil origin that could cause a sanitary sewer overflow.

Notifications have been made to the Maryland Department of the Environment, the Prince George’s County Health Department and the Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation.

It is important to note that WSSC’s water and wastewater systems are separate. Sanitary sewer overflows do NOT affect WSSC’s drinking water.

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 notification from citizens of a sewer back up or water main break. Please call our 24-hour Emergency Services Center at 301-206-4002 to report water or sewer emergencies in Montgomery or Prince George's counties. Customers can also report emergencies via email at and those customers who have smart phones can report emergencies using 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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