More that 300,000 gallons of sewage spilled from a pumping station in Arnold that lost power this week, Anne Arundel County officials said Wednesday.

The Mill Creek Pumping Station lost power during storms for about two hours beginning about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to the county's Department of Public Works.

The spill led health officials to close Mill Creek and Dividing Creek on the Magothy River. They said anyone who comes in contact with water from the creeks should wash immediately with soap and warm, clean water. Clothing also should be washed, they said.

Public works officials said the outage knocked out power to the station, and a backup generator failed. A portable generator was brought in to power the pumping station.

The county is in the midst of a $9.6 million project to upgrade the pumping station's mechanical and electrical systems, increase the amount of wastewater that can be stored, install a self-powered bypass pump and a new generator.

In 2005, the station was the site of one of the county's worst sewage spills on record. A pipe leading to the pumping station collapsed and 3 million gallons of sewage spilled into Mill Creek.

After Tuesday's spill, the Health Department placed signs in the affected areas. Officials said the closure would remain in effect until further notice.

More information is available at the Water Quality Line, 410-222-7999, or aahealth.org. Alerts can also be received via text messages at twitter.com/aahealth_water.

pwood@baltsun.com

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