Water Watchdog Report

What: Sewage
Where: near the bridge at Schuyler and Sligo Creek Parkway and the walkway along Sligo Creek
When: 2013-09-15 at 4 pm
Reported By: Anne Vorce
Additional Details:

Around 4pm Sunday, September 15, a citizen reported to WSSC sewage flowing into Sligo Creek near the bridge at Schuyler and Sligo Creek Parkway and the walkway along Sligo Creek. Another citizen, who lives in the Seven Oaks neighborhood, drew the situation to the attention of the neighborhood listserv today (September 19). This area has been the scene of another recent problem.

This spot is used by alot of children, as it is adjacent to several schools, including a heavily used running track.

WSSC responded two hours later.

According to its report, the WSSC inspector found the manhole at the spot overflowing at a rate of five gallons per minute. It stated that a portion of the sewage had entered a storm drain emptying into the Sligo Creek basin. WSSC identified the cause as grease.

To address the problem, WSSC stated that it flushed the part of the sewage that did not enter Sligo Creek back into the manhole using dechlorinated water and disinfectant. Two yellow alert signs have been put on trees at the spot, but they were not enough to keep 2 little boys from playing downstream in the creek on the morning of Thursday, September 19.

To prevent recurrence, WSSC stated that line blockage analysis will be undertake and a follow-up investigation will be undertaken.

This area has also been the subject of a previous problem, related to construction-related concrete slurry pollution of the Creek. Based on response to a Water WatchDog report of this problem, the Department of Environmental Protection’s Alex Tortella and Susan Allen under the direction of DEP chief investigator Steve Martin had stopped the problem by enforcing best practices silt protection at the construction site. DEP has been alerted about the sewage problem, first by WSSC and then by us – in case there is any relation to the construction continuing uphill from the site.