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More sewage spills into lower Patapsco River

Baltimore County utility crews dealt with yet another sewage spill at the Patapsco Sewage Pumping Station in Baltimore Highlands. About 525,000 gallons of sewage spilled from a 54-inch concrete pipe Saturday into the lower Patapsco River.

The county spent $500,000 to replace aging pipes earlier this month after a main conduit ruptured in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene and poured about 100 million gallons of raw sewage into the river over the course of a week.

Crews discovered a joint failure in the new piping last week and the overflow occurred during the ensuing repair for a few hours early Saturday morning.

The county's health department continues to monitor water quality daily in the area of the river affected by the overflows. The agency makes results of those tests available on its website. Signs are posted along the river warning residents to avoid the water, which, officials said, remains unsafe to swim or wade in — or even to touch. Anne Arundel County's health department has also issued a warning covering the downstream stretch of the Patapsco River.

Mary.gail.hare@baltsun.com

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