Sewage Discharge to Drainage Ditches along Madison Avenue, St. Michaels


Category: Public Works

On Sunday, July16, 2023, at approximately 4:50 p.m., the Talbot County Sanitary District (Sanitary District) was advised of a sewer leak at the Madison Avenue Pump Station located adjacent to 101 Madison Avenue at the corner of Madison Avenue and Maryland Route 33 (St. Michaels Road). The sewer leak resulted from high levels of wastewater entering the Madison Avenue Pump Station; however, the Talbot County Sanitary District was not alerted to the high-level conditions as the automatic dialing alarm system (ADAS) had been deactivated when the contractor completing work on the pump station accidently cut the telephone line a couple of weeks ago. After the telephone line was cut, a temporary ADAS was installed but was removed by the contractor on Friday, July 14th. A temporary ADAS was installed on the morning of July 17, 2023. A new cellular ADAS has been ordered and is anticipated to be delivered this week.

Personnel from the Sanitary District and tanker trucks from Brummell & Sons and CHT Excavating began pumping the wastewater which had flowed into the neighboring backyard. The Madison Avenue Pump Station reported that an estimated 15,000 gallons of untreated wastewater discharged into the neighboring backyard, with approximately 6,000 gallons recovered by the tanker trucks from Brummell & Sons and CHT Excavating.

The pump station was put back into service at approximately 6:00 p.m. and the wastewater was removed from the neighboring property between 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Due to nightfall, lime was spread on the ground on the morning of July 17, 2023.

The spill was reported to the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) at 8:00 p.m. and a
5-day incident report is being completed.

After an inspection by Environmental Health, there was a potential that a small amount of the spilled wastewater entered the headwaters of an unnamed tributary that discharges to the Miles River. After further review with MDE, it has been determined that the spill had no impact on the water quality of the Miles River.

If the public has any questions regarding the public health determination they may contact Dave Russ, Program Supervisor 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, contact Ray Clarke, County Engineer, at 410-770-8170.

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