Freedom Water Treatment Plant pump failure resolved, water pressure restored in Sykesville

The Freedom Water Treatment Plant experienced a water pump failure in the early hours of Tuesday morning, resulting in water pressure loss in the Sykesville area.

The failure occurred around 1:30 a.m., and the pump was rotated out of use by 4 a.m. Bureau of Utilities Chief Andy Watcher said Tuesday afternoon that the failed pump was put back in rotation the same day, and that his department is now investigating the cause of the failure.


“There is very little demand for water [at 1:30 a.m.],” he told the Times, “so we weren’t really aware that the pump had broken. So as the morning went on, the calls started coming in and we realized in relatively short order that the pump was not working properly.

“I’m very happy it happened at 1:30 [a.m.] instead of 5:30 [a.m.],” said Watcher. “That would have been a big problem, when everyone is getting ready for work.”

The county posted a news release on the incident in the early afternoon and sent it out via email at 2:25 p.m.

In the release was a statement that residents in the affected area should be on the lookout for cloudy water.

“As a result of the system wide pressure loss, residents may experience cloudy water conditions periodically throughout the day,” the email stated. “If this occurs, it is recommended that residents turn the cold water tap on and run the water for several minutes to help clear the lines. It is recommended that residents refrain from using high water volume appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers during periods of cloudy water conditions.”

By 2:30 p.m. however, Watcher said that the risk of cloudy water was low.

“It might have been [cloudy] earlier today with the water pressure going down,” he said. “Countywide there would have been some areas of sediment stirring up in the water supply.

“But we are probably well beyond the time frame for that,” said Watcher.

The bureau chief said the department has reverted the system to the way it was before the pump failed to see if they can determine where the failure came from.

For questions regarding this matter, residents are encouraged to call the Carroll County Bureau of Utilities office at 410-386-2164.