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Voluntary Water Conservation Urged on Mayo Peninsula

High Inflow of Wastewater Continues to Impact Mayo Wastewater Treatment Plant

Annapolis (July 29, 2006) - The Anne Arundel County, Department of Public Works is urging residents and businesses on the Mayo Peninsula to voluntarily limit indoor water usage until further notice. At this time, the Mayo Wastewater Treatment Plant is still receiving high inflows of wastewater that exceed the storage capacity of the plant. The high inflow is attributed the amount of rainwater that has fallen in that area and infiltrated the treatment system. Indoor water conservation measures will help reduce the current flow to the plant.

While water conservation is always a good practice, the Department of Public Works offers the following suggestions for limiting water use at this time:

  • Don’t use the toilet as a wastebasket. Each flush uses up to 7 gallons.
  • Limit your shower time. Showers typically use 5-10 gallons a minute.
  • When brushing your teeth or shaving, turn the faucet off.
  • Install water saving showerheads and flow restrictors on your faucets. These items are readily available at your local hardware store.
  • Check all pipes and faucets for leaks.
  • Only run your dishwasher and washing machine when they are full.

At this time, more than 10,000 gallons of partially treated wastewater has escaped from the peat wetlands, the third of four phases of the treatment process at this facility. Tanker trucks have been on-site and have captured and removed more than 100,000 gallons of the wastewater which is being treated at other county facilities.

It is expected that the flow will continue at above-normal levels until ground and surface water levels subside. An unofficial measurement of rainwater at the plant showed 11’’ of rainfall over the past several days. Tankers will continue to capture and remove as much overflow as possible until the inflow returns to normal levels.

The Department of Health has closed Bear Neck Creek and Whitemarsh Creek as a result of this failure. The Department advises people coming in contact with the affected water to wash with soap and warm water immediately. Clothing should also be washed. For more information on this emergency closing, call the Water Quality Line at (410) 222-7999 or visit the "Water Quality" page on the Health Department’s website.


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