WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Treatment Plant Back Online After Dumping Sewage Into Howard Co. River

Play associated audio
With the power out, sewage had nowhere else to go except the Little Patuxent River.
Elliott Francis
With the power out, sewage had nowhere else to go except the Little Patuxent River.

In Howard County, Md., a water treatment plant is back online after a power outage caused sewage to spill into a nearby river.

The Water Reclamation Plant sits on the banks of the Little Patuxent River. Last night, Hurricane Sandy downed electric lines, cutting power to the plant. Steve Gerwin, Howard County's bureau chief of utilities explains what happened.

"This one's the aerial line, you can see where it's down. That's the failure right there," said Gerwin. "So when it goes down, a circuit breaker opens, and the plant needs power to treat waste water. Once that occurs the only place the waste water can go is in the river."

About two million gallons an hour of sewage poured into the river here.

BGE restored power alittle before 11 a.m. Tuesday morning, but health officials are keeping a close eye on bacterial levels in the water.

"It was so diluted with rain water, we do not believe there was any health risk, but any time we're offline, it's a major concern," says County Executive Ken Ulman.

Ulman insists, the public drinking water is safe.

NPR

Not My Job: We Quiz Lena Headey On Games Worse Than 'Game Of Thrones'

Game of Thrones may have killed off many major characters, but the manipulative, scheming Queen Cersei is still standing. We've invited Headey to play a game called "You win and you die."
NPR

After Introducing Changes, Keurig Sales Continue To Fall

Despite America's high coffee consumption, Keurig reported disappointing sales this week. Even during its popular holiday selling period, the numbers haven't perked up in recent years.
NPR

Do Political TV Ads Still Work?

TV ads are a tried-and-true way for politicians to get their message out. But in this chaotic presidential primary, are they still effective?
NPR

Twitter Says It Has Shut Down 125,000 Terrorism-Related Accounts

The announcement comes just weeks after a woman sued Twitter, saying the platform knowingly let ISIS use the network "to spread propaganda, raise money and attract recruits."

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.