The Harford County Department of Public Works is reporting a total of three incidents of sanitary sewer overflows at two pumping stations during the height of the Oct. 29 storm. The Dembytown and Bush Creek pumping stations have been cleaned and posted with warning signs, according to the Department of Public Works. Here are the details:
Harford County Reports Storm Sewer Overflow During Hurricane Sandy
(Bel Air, MD) – - The Harford County Department of Public Works, Division of Water and Sewer has reported three incidents involving sanitary sewer overflows during Hurricane Sandy. All three incidents occurred on the height of the storm on Monday, October 29, 2012 and were the result of power loss at the facilities.
The first overflow occurred at the Dembytown pumping station between 11:40 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. Approximately 2,700 gallons discharged from the pumping station into the Foster Branch as a result of a power failure. The second event occurred at the Bush Creek pumping station when approximately 1.8 million gallons discharged between 8:15 p.m. – 10:25 p.m. The incident occurred as a result of a total loss of power at the site when the back-up power generator, which had been operating for several hours after utility power was lost, failed at the height of the storm due to a mechanical problem. The third and final discharge occurred at the Dembytown pumping station when approximately 25,200 gallons discharged between 5:35 p.m. – 12:35 a.m. The discharge occurred when DPW was unable to get a tanker vehicle and crew to the pumping station due to hazardous conditions related to the hurricane.
As required by regulations, the Department of Public Works notified the Maryland Department of the Environment and the Harford County Health Department of the three overflow incidents. Officials with the Department of Public Works, Division of Water and Sewer have advised the overflows were mostly rainwater related to the storm.
During Hurricane Sandy, the Division of Water and Sewer had 39 pumping stations out of a total of 55, operating under emergency generator power. The Division of Water and Sewer reported logging more than 1,000 hours of generator time since the on-set of Hurricane Sandy, with three hours of “down time” due to mechanical failure.
The three pumping stations were subsequently inspected and the spill sites were cleaned and posted with warning signs in accordance with recommendations from the Harford County Health Department.