Miles of creek and lake access in Montgomery County are closed after nearly 1 million gallons of sewage surged into waters Wednesday and Thursday.
Two separate overflows due to a deteriorated pipe caused gallons of sewage to spill into Lake Howell and James Creek in Olney, Md, the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission said in a statement.
James Creek flows into Hawlings River, which flows into the Patuxent River, where Brown's Bridge Recreation Area is located.
The overflow will not affect drinking water because the current filtration system treats drinking water using disinfectants, and the water is tested continuously, WSSC said.
The WSSC has blocked all water access along the stretch of about 6 miles as a precaution, and placed yellow warning signs advising residents to stay out of the water.
The sewage was diluted in the streams and will be further diluted by nearly 5 billion gallons of water in the Rocky Gorge Reservoir, WSSC said.
Crews have finished repairs at the break sites and finished clean-ups at both sites and the nearby Olney Wastewater Pumping station.
WSSC said it will increase water testing.