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Emmitsburg sewage spills continue

Richard D. L. Fulton

(10/20) As efforts proceed to build a new wastewater treatment facility for the Town of Emmitsburg, the existing infrastructure continues to fail, resulting in the existing treatment plant exceeding its permitted treatment capacity by 24,912,000 gallons in September.

The system, overwhelmed by storm water run-off breaching the system during the same period, also produced two untreated wastewater spills amounting to a total of 26,400 gallons.

According to a report filed by Town manager David Haller with the Town Council at their October 17 meeting, the collection system was overwhelmed on 14 separate days during the month of September, with spillages occurring on September

In his September report, Haller noted that, of the total 1,086,000 gallons per day (GPD) treated by the sewage plant, 74.9 percent of that was "wild water (of storm water run-off that has worked its way into the sewage collection system.)."

The sewage spills that occurred took place at Emmit Gardens (21,000 gallons) on September 23 and North Seton Avenue (5,400 gallons) on September 27, according to Hallerís report.

Council President Christopher V. Staiger pointed out that efforts should be redoubled to find the cause because the infiltration could drive up the cost of operating the new facility, as well as old, if it continues.

"If 75 percent of the water (treated) shouldnít be there, thatís going to drive up the costs," he said. "Itís important that we really get a handle on this."

Council balks at parks smoking ban

The Emmitsburg Town Council declined to adopt an ordinance implementing a smoking ban at town parks at their October 17 meeting and, instead, directed town staff to create signs to be posted at certain areas within the parks requesting people to refrain from smoking in those areas.

The signage would not be backed with the force of law. Compliance would be voluntary, or rely on peer-driven enforcement.

The concept of imposing a smoking ban was placed on the October 17 council agenda by Councilman Glenn Blanchard. Blanchard also suggested the less aggressive approach of simply asking people (through signage) to not smoke in certain areas.

Areas of concern regarding smoking included the town pool, playground areas, and seating areas at the baseball fields. The town parks involved will include Community Park, Memorial Park, and the Silo Hill park facility.

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