Sewage Discharge to Drainage Ditch along Tunis Mills Road


Category: Public Works

On Thursday, June 8, 2023, at approximately 9:00 a.m., the Talbot County Sanitary District (Sanitary District) was advised of a broken force main which caused a sewage leak at 26358 Tunis Mills Road. A representative of K & T Utilities, LLC, a private contractor working in the area, reported that untreated wastewater was discharging to a drainage ditch as a result of the contractor inadvertently striking a curb valve. 

Personnel from the Sanitary District placed sandbags in the 2’ wide x 1’ deep ditch for approximately 300 feet downstream from the broken force main to prevent the discharge from traveling any farther along Tunis Mills Road. It is estimated that approximately 5,000 gallons of untreated wastewater discharged into the drainage ditch.    

Staff contacted CHT Excavating, a licensed liquid wastewater hauler, to assist with the cleanup of the untreated wastewater and worked to shut off the curb value to stop the flow of untreated wastewater from pouring onto the ground. The force main was repaired at 12:30 p.m., and personnel from the Sanitary District limed the areas that were impacted by the spill. 

The sewage discharge was immediately reported to the Maryland Department of the Environment, and an Environmental Health representative visited the site and confirmed the discharge of untreated sewage from the force main to the roadside drainage ditches as noted above.  

The investigation of the discharge indicated that sewage did not reach navigable or shellfish harvesting waters of the State of Maryland. Based on this fact, as well as the ability of the grasses and soils located within the drainage way to filter and attenuate the wastewater, the Office of Environmental Health determined that there was low to minimal impact to the public health and the environment.   

If the public has any questions regarding the public health determination they may contact Anne Morse, Director of Environmental Health at 410-770-6880 Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  

If the public has questions regarding the discharge or the corrective action that was taken, they may contact Ray Clarke, County Engineer, at 410-770-8170. 

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Page last modified Friday, May 3, 2024 11:38:20 AM