Water Watchdog Report

What: Bad Odor
Where: around Sligo Creek at Piney Branch and Sligo Creek Parkway
When: 2012-12-10
Reported By: Karen Cooper
Additional Details:

While taking a bike ride over the Thanksgiving weekend, one of our SOECA neighbors (Karen Cooper) smelled a bad odor around Sligo Creek at the corner of Piney Branch and Sligo Creek Parkway. She called WSSC right away, but when they did not respond, she called them again. WSSC finally went to the site, but said that the problem was not in the sewer line they checked.

So, Karen turned to the County’s pollution investigators. Her report was sent to the email address ReportSligoPollution at fosc.org. Through this simple email system, Karen’s report went immediately and directly to Steve Martin and his investigative team in the Department of Environmental Protection.

Dan McCann of the County’s DEP responded quickly and is in contact with Karen. He walked Sligo Creek and found a smell, but not exactly where Karen had reported it. He spoke with regular Sligo Creek Path walkers, who confirmed the smell that she had reported a few days earlier. Dan then took a sample of the creek, but his test did not find sewage in the water. He also noticed that the smell may be caused by leakage from nearby sewer vent tops that may not be on tightly. He is contacting WSSC to ask them to fix the vent situation to hopefully solve the problem. If he had found that the smell was caused by water pollution, he would have taken other steps to correct it. If there is a polluter involved, that polluter can be fined.

Anyone who also smells or who has smelled a bad odor in the same area, please also be a WaterWatchDog by contacting DEP through the email ReportSligoPollution at fosc.org. This email relay system was invented by the FOSC’s webmaster and enables people to be WaterWatchDogs. By sending a simple email during regular business hours, people can help stop pollution as they go about their ordinary business. Having additional information through our reports can help DEP track down the source of the problem. After hours and on weekends, a phone call to the Park Service is the best way to report pollution. (301-949-301