A powdery substance and the smell of sewage was noted in the woods in Hawkins Cove. Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) was contacted by a citizen after the city did not give a satisfactory response following the citizen report of the dumping of the white powder in Spa Creek.
“It is disturbing that they told me that it was fire extinguisher foam and that they did not think it could be cleaned up. I thought that it was weird that there was so much of it. I have noticed that the creek sometimes smells like sewerage gas but we had been told that the city was constantly monitoring flow in the sewers so that they could detect leaks,” reports the citizen complainant.
Inspection of the site was made today (March 13, 2023) in a response to complaint that a large amount of white powder was dumped in the wetlands next to creek in the forest conservation area. Complainant also stated that the Annapolis Fire Department inspected the white powder and identified it as fire retardant foam from a fire extinguisher.
Complainant provided pictures. Nobody was present at the site during inspection. Contact was made with Battalion Chief John D. Muhitch, Annapolis City Fire Department, who stated that on 2/27/23 their units responded to the area in question and found one large dry chemical fire extinguisher had been maliciously discharged. The Harbor Master, who investigated the complaint, confirmed the findings of the Fire Department.
Inspection found that a large area in the woods is covered by lime (white powder), placed there to disinfect the surface impacted by sanitary sewage overflow (SSO). The area is posted to avoid water contact. The area is approx. 100 x 100 feet, it stretches all the way to the stream bank and it is located within the Hawkins Cove Conservation Area. The stream is an unnamed tributary to Spa Creek, Use Class I, confluent to Hawkins Cove/Severn River (Use Class II). There is various trash and debris discarded in the area, including a fire extinguisher.
Mrs. Cabezas, property manager, Spa Cove Apartments, stated that approx. 2 to 3 weeks ago their maintenance personnel discovered raw sewage overflowing from a manhole in the wooded area behind the 908 and 910 Primrose Rd. The overflow was not within the Apartments’ sewer system and they reported it to DPW, City of Annapolis.
Additional investigation found that the sewage overflow occurred on 2/22/23 and was reported by Thomas Newquist, City of Annapolis DPW. According to the 24-hour telephone report, approx. 1,000 gallons of raw sewage/gray water discharged into the Spa Creek as a result of the sewer main blockage. The 5-day follow-up report of the SSO was not
received by MDE.
The full report from MDE can be found at the link below.