More than 10,000 gallons of "untreated wastewater" were expected to pour into Seneca Creek Saturday after a sewer pipe collapsed in Montgomery County, Maryland, water officials said.
The overflow was detected at 2:09 p.m. in a heavily wooded area of Germantown, near 18845 Porterfield Way, WSSC Water said.
Crews are still working to contain the overflow Sunday. They say the difficult terrain is hampering their efforts and did not say when the pipe was expected to be fixed.
The drinking water in the area was not affected, officials said.
“Crews are working to access the site and set up a temporary bypass pumping operation to move the wastewater around a collapsed section of the 30-inch diameter sewer pipe causing the overflow,” a press release reads.
The same section of pipe collapsed in November and caused a similar overflow, officials confirmed.
WSSC believes both collapses were caused by a gas build up in the pipes that leads to corrosion. Several pumping stations are located in the neighborhood because of rough terrain, which leads to more gas in the sewer.
Residents were being warned to avoid the area. The Maryland Department of the Environment and relevant health departments have been notified, water officials said.
Water and sewer emergencies in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties can be reported to WSSC Water’s 24-hour emergency call center at 301-206-4002.