A pipe that transports about 17 million gallons of untreated sewage from western Baltimore County to the Patapsco Treatment Plant in the city ruptured Sunday and continues to overflow into the Patapsco River.

In response, the Anne Arundel County Health Department has ordered the closing of the river in Brooklyn, from Annapolis Road downstream, according to a news release. The department has posted signs advising against direct water contact and advises people who do come in contact to launder clothes and wash skin immediately with soap and warm water.

County public works crews discovered the break at 11 p.m. in a 54-inch diameter pressure line, an iron pipe, inside the Patapsco Sewage Pumping station at 4612 Annapolis Road in Baltimore Highlands. The spill began at about 3:30 p.m. Sunday and continues to flow, as repairs get under way, officials said.

Three major utility contractors, who specialize in large repairs, are working to restore the line and are expected to complete the work by Thursday.

The Baltimore County health department will monitor water quality in the Patapsco area that may be affected by the overflow and will publish water contact advisories, when necessary, on the agency's website: http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/health/environmentalhealth/watersampling/alertadvisory.html

mary.gail.hare@baltsun.com

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