From PWCSA: The Prince William County Service Authority responded to a Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO) on Tuesday, August 9, 2022. The SSO, caused by vandalism, began at a manhole in an easement near Granada Way and Appaloosa Drive in Lake Ridge. An SSO is an overflow of untreated or partially treated sewage.
At approximately 3:10 p.m., a resident contacted the Service Authority to report the odor of sewer near Granada Way. The responding crew found a manhole overflowing. They removed debris from the manhole, including a large rock and sticks.
Crews have placed signs in English and Spanish at this location, warning of potential public health risks. Initial assessment by the Service Authority indicates that the overflow was limited to the manhole, a nearby dry creek bed and an unnamed tributary. Per Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) requirements, signage will remain in place for seven days.
The Service Authority will collect water samples upstream and downstream from the SSO site. Per state regulations and our operating procedures, the Service Authority is reporting the incident to VDEQ.
The Service Authority reminds Prince William County residents not to tamper with sewer manholes. Putting any items into manholes can cause overflows, which may have a negative impact on the environment, require emergency response by the Service Authority and result in costly repairs to the sanitary sewer system. If you notice any vandalism of a Service Authority asset (manhole, fire hydrant, meter box, valve box, etc.), please call Emergency Dispatch at 703-335-7990.
Why Do SSOs Occur?
- Inappropriate materials placed into sewers, such as fats, oils and grease (FOG) and some household products such as baby and facial wipes, sanitary pads and tampons. All of these can create blockages.
- Tree roots and/or excessive stormwater or groundwater entering sewer lines through defects or cracks.
- Inappropriate connections such as sump pumps, roof gutters and downspouts, foundation drains and area drains.
- Power loss.
- Equipment failures and breaks.
- Intentional acts of vandalism.
- Heavy rainfall and natural disasters.