Significantly elevated bacteria levels, indicating a sewage spill, were discovered during regular weekly water quality testing in Spa Creek. Samples were taken from the footbridge spanning the creek between the Chesapeake Children’s Museum and Bates Middle School on August 24, 2023.
Response from the City of Annapolis
City of Annapolis Department of Public Works (DPW) received residential concerns on the morning of Friday, August 25, 2023, and responded with crews to identify the location. Steps were immediately taken to place lime in the affected area and identify the extent of the problem. It was ultimately determined that the impacted sewer ran from Merryman Road to the Salt Dome on Spa Road.
MDE and the Anne Arundel County Health Department were both notified by telephone, speaking with a live individual between 10AM and 11AM Friday morning. An MDE inspector visited the site on Friday afternoon.
Steps were taken, beginning Friday morning, to clear the line of its blockage. These efforts continued throughout the day due to several re-cloggings of the line. It was ultimately determined that there was a severely broken pipe which deposited dirt, stone, and debris in the line clogging it.
Late Friday afternoon, DPW was able to break what was thought to be the final clog and establish free flow within the 8-inch-diameter sanitary sewer. A pump bypass system was installed around the broken pipe on Friday evening.
During this period, lime continued to be spread and “sewage overflow” signs were posted.
Due to the accumulated sediment in the line, the pipe re-clogged on Saturday morning and crews responded to clear the line. The pipe was ultimately cleared around noon Saturday and steps were taken to protect the broken pipe from the further entry of debris and rocks. The bypass continued to operate through the weekend.
On Monday, the pipe was exposed and repaired.
We are developing plans to inspect this area of the sewer to determine any additional repairs.