Anne Arundel County Has Fewest Sewage Spills In Region

A December 21 Capital Gazette article reported that Anne Arundel County is one of the best local governments in the region when it comes to sewage spills, despite the complexity of the county system due to topography and residential proximity to water.  The article noted that the County has 255 pumping stations, more than double those of Baltimore County.

The record of the Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works’ sewage system is about the best in the region when in comes to sewage spills.  …

Last year, while handling 11.9 billion gallons of total effluent, the county sewage system, through a variety of mishaps, lost 395,120 gallons — roughly 0.003 percent.

“But one gallon is too much,” said Chris Phipps, director of public works.  …

His department attributes its successes to a combination of monitoring and maintenance, plus an uptick in public funds being spent to refurbish infrastructure.

Besides the monitoring, maintenance, and a funded replacement and repair program, the article stated that the County responds to spills as quickly as possible:

When spills occur, officials said, the wastewater division focuses on quick response, especially in areas where the sewage pipes are under pressure.

The usual response is to isolate the line where a failure occurs, then send sewage pumping trucks to the pumping stations nearby and upstream to pump out the flow while repairs are made.

When a pipe failed in Bay Ridge on Dec. 12, an estimated 88,000 gallons escaped. But utility workers, by responding quickly, were about to recover 71,000 gallons of it.