Wednesday night's torrential rains
did not cause sewage to flood into
homes at Ironmaster Court, as was
the case several times this summer.
Raw sewage was pumped, however, into
stormwater management drains, which empty into a stormwater
management pond behind the homes at Ironmaster Court, resident
Rachel Patrick said Thursday.
And she's just as upset the pumping
occurred as she would have been had raw sewage found its way,
once again, into her basement, she said.
"I woke my husband up to take
pictures," she said, when town officials began the pumping
about 4 a.m. Thursday.
"They were pumping straight out of the
sewage line into the street at first," Ms. Patrick said. "Gary
Dingle, the line control man, said he forgot some widget to
clamp onto the hose. ... So for about a half hour to an hour
they were pumping out of the sewage line and into the street.
"Once they finally got their clamp
together, they pumped steadily until almost 10 this morning.
That was from the line to the storm drain, and all that raw
sewage dumped into the sediment pond. It's still full of water
and sewage that's just standing.
"And there were no signs or anything
putup to say children shouldn't play there or anything," Ms.
Mr. Dingle, the town's wastewater
treatment plant superintendent, did see that signs warning
residents of the sewage were placed around the pond Thursday
after-noon, after his crews fixed a water line -break earlier
in the day.
Mr. Dingle said the town is permitted
to pump the sewage into the stormwater drains but must report
such pumping to the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE),
which he said was done Thursday afternoon.
He said the town also followed MDE's
guidelines for such waste placement and that lime was placed
over the raw sewage that ended up on the street.
A manhole in the vicinity of
Ironmaster 'Court has held Mr. Dingle's attention since the
sewage back-ups occurred this summer. He said Thursday that
the recent snowfall combined with Wednesday night's heavy
rains forced the town to pump the sewage out of that manhole
and into the storrnwater drain to prevent back-up into
"I know when it (the manhole) gets to
a certain point that we have to start pumping," he said.
"Either that, or it goes into the homes."
A Hagerstown engineering firm, ARRRO
Consulting Inc., now looking for problems within the town's
sewage system has yet to find any, Mr. Dingle said. The
company is continuing to run a variety of tests to find the
root of the problems that have plagued the town this year.
"They're trying to come up with what
the problem is," he said. "Until they do, I have to do this"
"They had flooding all over the county
last night," Mr. Dingle added. "And we did pump from about 4
something this morning until between 9:30 and 10" a.m.
This is the first time a sewage
overflow could have happened since earlier this summer,
despite the two and three-inch rains the county received
since, he said.
"Last night, with the snowfall and the
rain, it just couldn't handle it," Mr. Dingle said.
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