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Sewage release prompts creek warning

June 16, 2004|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

People should avoid recreational use of parts of Antietam Creek after some partially treated waste water was released from the Hagerstown Waste Water Treatment Plant this week, according to a press release from the Washington County Health Department.

A storm-related power outage caused about 1.2 million gallons of diluted, partially treated waste water to be released into the creek early Tuesday, officials said. That followed the release of 18,600 gallons Monday afternoon due to heavy rains.

The health concern with partially treated water is bacteria from human feces.

This is the second time this year partially treated waste water from the sewage treatment plant has been released into the creek.

The portion of the creek between the plant and Devil's Backbone Park was closed for four days in February after an estimated 3.2 million gallons of partially treated waste water was released from the plant.

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That release was blamed on storm water infiltrating the sewage system, a situation officials said would be fixed with plant upgrades planned for later this year.

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