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"Intentionally sawed" sewer main found in Baltimore's Woodberry area

"Intentionally sawed" sewer main found in Baltimore's Woodberry area

BALTIMORE (WBFF) - It’s a sewage-seeping mystery.

Crews working for the Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) diverted this weekend what had been an ongoing sewage leak from an eight-inch line that was discovered inside a much larger storm drain in the Clipper Mill area, in the Woodberry neighborhood.

DPW officials say they don’t know why the pipe was placed there or how long it was leaking.

A DPW News release explains:

"On September 28, 2017, an investigation by DPW discovered a severed (intentionally sawed) 8-inch sewer main inside of a 6-foot x 7-foot storm drain tunnel in the 3500 block of Parkdale Avenue. The cast iron sewer main, installed in 1917, runs for approximately 400 feet inside the storm drain which was constructed in 1935.

At one time the sewer main connected to another downstream sewer main as part of the sewer system, but it remains unclear how the 100 year old sewer line ended up being placed in the 82 year old storm drain. Why and when the sewer main was cut also is not known, but modern PVC connections are adjacent and probably date back to the early 2000s.

Over this weekend the sewage overflow into the storm drain, and ultimately into the Jones Falls, was stopped through bypass pumping. The next step will be a temporary re-connecting of the severed sewer line to a nearby manhole. This work will be done by a DPW on-call contractor within the next few weeks. A longer-range remedy will be the removal of the sewer line from inside the storm drain.

The estimated cost for this all of this work is being determined.

The public is reminded to avoid contact with urban waterways due to the risk of pollution. For information about health concerns as a result of sewer overflows please go to http://health.baltimorecity.gov/sanitary-sewer-overflows-sso."

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