Department of Public Works officials say they found the cause of the overflow that sent an undetermined amount of sewage into Stony Run over the weekend – a plugged sewer main just upstream from the spot where 28,500 gallons spilled into the North Baltimore stream on June 5.
“I can tell you it is not connected to the earlier problem which we just corrected,” Public Works spokesman Jeffrey Raymond said this morning, as a city crew worked through a manhole to unclog a sanitary sewer line at the intersection of West University Parkway and 39th Street.
It’s pretty much the same spot crews were working on for days after the earlier overflow.
But Raymond said this latest gush came from a separate line – not the one that just had a 440-foot segment replaced – and that it was clogged with roots or paper or some other material that has now been pushed out.
Raymond said the stream has been posted to warn walkers, joggers and dogwalkers but that people “should avoid contact with all urban streams, all the time.”
Clear-flowing Trickle, but Slimy Rocks
On Saturday, citizens had noticed and reported the sewage burbling up from neighborhood manhole covers, including one at the intersection of Linkwood and Overhill roads in Tuscany-Canterbury. But Raymond said the crews did not see any of this street level sewage backup today.
Ray Iturraldo, walking along Stony Run with his dog Freckles this morning, said he saw the sewage spilling out of the storm-water outfall just upstream from the University Parkway bridge on Saturday.
He produced a cellphone photo showing the white cloudy sewage material streaming out of the pipe and into the stream. This morning, with just intermittent sprinkles of rain, the flow from that spot was relatively clear.
City crews walking the stream-bed said to a reporter “we got it stopped.”
But the rocks in the stream at that spot are are covered with a furry mane of algal slime.
If you don’t get it … heave it over the bridge?
Meanwhile, another source of pollution was evident on the bank, just across Stony Run from the spot where hours ago the the sewage was spewing – newspapers.
Copies of the latest issue of the Baltimore Sun’s youth-oriented weekly – “bthesite.com” – were strewn all over the grass and bushes.
Iturraldo said it’s a common sight, in just that spot.
“Somebody keeps throwing them here,” said Iturraldo, who lives nearby. “When we had our stream clean-up we picked up a lot of them.”
He speculated that someone might be throwing them out of the honor boxes up on the bridge, outside the Carlyle Apartments.
From The Brew’s Facebook page, Carol Westcott posts: “Someone has been dumping hundreds of copies of B at Druid Park Reservoir on windy days. What’s wrong with people?”
We’ve called and emailed Renee Mutchnik of The Baltimore Sun, for comment.
“We are looking into the situation and appreciate you bringing it to our attention,” she said today, via email.