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Carroll residents 'wait and see' to assess impact of sewage spill


When she took her youngest child to the bus stop yesterday morning, several children asked Lisa K. Cunningham what happened to Piney Run, the creek behind their homes where they play.

"I told them we would have to wait and see," said the Marriottsville resident and mother of four. "We just have an unfortunate situation."

The creek, a popular wading and fishing spot, was polluted when much of 2 million gallons of raw sewage spilled into it after vandals caused a sewer line to overflow between May 7 and Monday.

Cunningham and other residents of Jenna Estates, a group of new homes along Arrington Road, are meeting today with Carroll officials to discuss the spill and other water-related issues at the development. She said she was upset that she knew nothing of the spill until she saw signs on several trees as she was walking her dog into the woods Tuesday. She said she would have preferred a personal warning.

"They posted signs, but they never bothered to let anybody know," she said. "If they are talking about a character virtue program here, they should start with honesty. Legally, they did what they had to, but it is our children who play in this creek."

Cunningham's children and others in the neighborhood caught crawfish in Piney Run on Monday, the day Carroll discovered the spill. One of her children and several others had intestinal problems, she said, that she fears were a result of wading in the creek.

County health officials advise that anyone who feels ill consult the family physician.

"Our advice always is to work with the family doctor," said Larry L. Leitch, director of the Carroll County Health Department. "But, if you feel well, I would not worry. You are probably OK."

Carroll health workers posted nearly 200 warnings along the waterway.

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