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Sewage overflows into Middle Branch from blocked sewer line

A blocked sewer line in Westport Monday spilled more than 12,000 gallons of raw sewage into the Middle Branch of the Patapsco River, the city's Department of Public Works announced. The overflow began around 11:15 a.m., and it took city crews a little more than four hours to halt it by installing pumps and temporary lines around the blockage.

The Maryland Department of the Environment and the city health department were notified of the overflow, according to the department. While signs are not always posted warning of sewage contamination, the city generally urges people to avoid contact with urban waters because of possible pollution. Baltimore City has been overhauling its sewer system for the past 13 years under a consent decree requiring it to halt chronic sewage overflows. City officials say they can't say when the repairs will be completed but the projected cost is more than $1 billion.

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