Sewage Discharge to Drainage Ditch along Maryland Route 33 (St. Michaels Road) located between Wales Lane and Kildee Road (Fox Harbour Lane)

April 21st, 2023 

ST.MICHAELS MD—On Friday, April 21, 2023, at approximately 11:00 a.m., the Talbot County Sanitary District (Sanitary District) was alerted to a possible sewer spill along St. Michaels Road across from the intersection of St. Michaels Road and Fox Harbour Lane.  Around 11:15 a.m., personnel from the Sanitary District located raw sewerage in the drainage ditch along St. Michaels Road across from Fox Harbour Lane.

Upon further investigation, staff confirmed the wastewater discharge and immediately contacted CHT Excavating, a licensed liquid wastewater hauler, to provide assistance with the cleanup of the untreated wastewater as well as managing flows at the Royal Oak Pump Station and at the site.  Before 12:00 p.m., CHT Excavating arrived at the location of the spill with their tanker truck and assisted the Sanitary District in cleaning up the area.  Sullivan Septic Service, a licensed liquid wastewater hauler, was also on site to assist with clean-up. Staff estimated that approximately 10,000 gallons of untreated wastewater were discharged from the sanitary sewer force main into the roadside drainage ditch with most of the spilled wastewater being recovered by the tanker truck.  It was determined that the spill was due to a failed coupling that was installed during a previous repair.  At 1:00 p.m., the area in the vicinity of the leak was excavated, the coupling was replaced, and the impacted area within the drainage ditch and the vicinity of a nearby culvert was stabilized with lime.  

The sewage discharge was immediately reported to the Maryland Department of the Environment. An Environmental Health representative visited the site and confirmed the discharge of untreated sewage from the force main to the roadside drainage ditch 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.


Page last modified Friday, April 21, 2023 4:16:48 PM