Work finished on sewer line break affecting Urbana and Ijamsville

·2 min read

Jan. 14—Crews completed the repair of a ruptured sewer line Friday, three days after the break prompted the county to request residents in Urbana and Ijamsville conserve water for several days.

The 30-inch pressurized sewer line, located off Maryland Route 355 near the Monocacy Battlefield, broke Tuesday evening. Roughly 3 million gallons of untreated sewage overflowed from the pipe before it was repaired, according to a county press release.

Mark Schweitzer, director of the Division of Water and Sewer Services, told the News-Post earlier this week it was hard to make progress with repairs, with heavily-saturated dirt blocking the way to the sewer line.

Earlier on Friday, Schweitzer confirmed repairs were still underway, after crews suffered a "major setback" Thursday night. A clamp placed in the final stages of the repair failed, leading crews to have to come up with a "Plan B," he said.

"Now, we're putting some shoring in place, which should be the last piece in place," Schweitzer said late Friday morning.

The county announced the repair several hours later.

County crews were assisted by JHG Contractors Inc., Mid-Atlantic Utilities Inc., Gabe's Services Inc., LB Water, and Ferguson Enterprises LLC. The city of Cumberland also provided specialty parts needed for the repair, and the Independent Hose Company also brought its canteen to the site.

Until repairs were completed, residents in the area of Urbana and Ijamsville were encouraged to conserve water as much as possible by forestalling things like laundry and dish-washing.

The county thanked residents in the area who limited their water usage and also thanked the National Park Service, which manages the Monocacy Battlefield, for its assistance and understanding.

For any residents who may be concerned about the sewage seeping into their private wells, Barry Glotfelty, environmental health director for Frederick County, said he believes with "reasonable certainty" this sewer break will have no impact on wells, as the breakage occurred downhill from most wells in the area.

Still, Glotfelty recommended residents in the area who notice a change in quality of their well water should get it tested. Independent of this situation, he also reminded users of private wells to get their wells tested annually or semi-annually.

Follow Patrick Kernan on Twitter: @PatKernan