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Weis Markets store blamed for sewage backup in homes

April 28, 2010|By DAVE McMILLION

BOONSBORO -- Three Boonsboro residents who live along North Main Street have experienced raw sewage backing up into their homes, and town officials said an engineer's report traced a March 7 backup in two of the houses to a nearby Weis Markets store.

Kevin Chambers, chairman of the Boonsboro Municipal Utilities Commission, said Tuesday that one of the residents experienced sewage backups four times, another resident experienced backups twice and a third resident experienced at least one backup.

North Main Street resident Lorrena Wyand said sewage backed up in her house March 7.

"I couldn't keep anything. All the carpet came out. I had an entertainment center. I had a bar down there," Wyand said in a telephone interview earlier this month.

The Boonsboro Municipal Utilities Commission discussed the issue during an April 8 meeting at town hall.

After the March 7 backup, Town Manager Debra Smith told utilities commission members that sewer lines near Wyand's house were cleaned out. A camera system was used to inspect the lines, Smith said.

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Grease caused the lines to become clogged and an engineer's report traced the problem to the Weis Markets store at 700 Chase Six Blvd., Smith said.

Chambers said during the April 8 meeting that the grease came from a butchering operation, where waste was washed into a floor drain.

Smith said the Washington County Health Department was aware of the situation, and she said the town planned to monitor sewage lines along North Main Street to make sure the backups do not occur again.

Dave Barnhart, director of environmental health for the Washington County Health Department, said Tuesday that there were gaps in a reporting system that showed how often a grease trap at Weis Markets was cleaned.

A grease trap prevents grease from entering a sewage system.

Dennis Curtin, a spokesman for Weis Markets, said the health department was provided with followup information to show the grease trap at the store was cleaned every six months.

Barnhart said Weis Markets officials agreed to increase the frequency of the grease trap cleanings.

Curtin said Tuesday that the grease trap will be cleaned every three months, and another company will come to the store each month to make sure the grease trap is working properly.

Curtin said company officials have not detected any circumstances at the store that would have led to the backups.

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