Baltimore County's Department of Public Works reported more than 500,000 gallons of untreated sewage spilled out Saturday morning near the Patapsco pumping station in Baltimore Highlands. The overflow occurred on a 40-foot stretch of force main that had recently been replaced because it ruptured during or right after Hurricane Irene blew through the area.Chalk up another failure to the Stimulus. I guess that shovel wasn't ready.
A leak was detected last Wednesday in the replacement 54-inch diameter pipe, which had been put in on September 1. Utility crews excavated the pipe and discovered a joint failure. Sewage overflowed while repairs were under way to fix the joint.
Health officials have extended the water-contact warning they issued after the original overflow, cautioning against swimming, wading or touching the Patapsco downriver of the spill. County officials estimated 85 million gallons of diluted but raw sewage spilled into the Patapsco during the original pipe rupture, which took nearly a week to fix. Another 13.6 million gallons spilled into the river when power went out.
The public beach in the Hammerman area of Gunpowder State Park remains closed to recreation because of Irene-related spills, and water-contact warnings are still in effect on nine other county waterways.
In all, Baltimore County reported more than 100 million gallons of diluted but raw sewage overflowed into Baltimore area rivers and streams during and after the storm, according to data logged by the Maryland Department of the Environment. Many localities reported overflows, though none as large. Second highest was Prince George's County, which reported about 20 million gallons overflowed in all.
It continues to bug me that the municipalities continue to fail in the simple duty of taking care of their $#!*. There are enormous economic benefits for gathering in cities, but having done so, the municipal authorities are always reluctant to foot the full bill for cleaning up the resulting messes. They expect the tax payers at large to do the heavy lifting, which means the soy bean farmer in Mississippi is expected to help pay to clean up their $#!*, while being totally responsible for his own.
How about the simple expedient of denying cities federal aid until they take responsibility for their own $#!*.