Leak allegedly caused by BGE contractor sent 1.7 million gallons of sewage into the Patapsco

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Photo by Ethan McLeod

As it turns out, far more than the originally announced estimate of 379,000 gallons flowed out of a damaged sewer main in Westport early this month, after the leak reopened and spurred additional ones blocks away.

The initial break occurred in a “large sewer main” at Kent Street and Annapolis Road on Oct. 3, DPW said. The agency blamed the damage on a contractor for local utility giant BGE, which responded in turn by blaming the city, alleging it was DPW’s crews, not BGE’s, that damaged the pipe when making repairs. (Our recap of that back-and-forth here.)

The break sent roughly 378,600 gallons of sewage flowing into the Patapsco River’s Middle Branch via the Gwynns Falls before it was stopped three days later, DPW said nearly two weeks ago. But according to an update announced today, the pipe actually began leaking waste again on Oct. 10. That lasted four days, adding more than 1.2 million gallons to that total.

And what’s more, the original damage caused other problems three blocks north, at the intersection of Annapolis Road and Clare Street and the 2100 block of Sidney Avenue. The former overflowed on Oct. 6, leaking an estimated 73,170 gallons, and the latter on Oct. 9, sending an estimated 63,500 gallons into the river.

DPW said the two other leaks were “separate from, but related to the damage,” and spurred by recent rains.

The total overflows stemming from the initial damage to the sewer main now stand at about 1.7 million gallons.

“Full repairs will not be completed for several weeks,” DPW said today.

Ethan McLeod
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