Repairs continue after burst pipe spews five million gallons of sewage into Valley Forge creek

     Valley Forge National Historical Park Closed due to a large sewer line brake (Nathaniel Hamilton/For NewsWorks)

    Valley Forge National Historical Park Closed due to a large sewer line brake (Nathaniel Hamilton/For NewsWorks)

    Crews tackling a massive, and potentially dangerous, sewage spill near Valley Forge National Historic Park are scheduled to wrap up repair work Wednesday.

    Part of a 30-inch main in Tredyffrin Township ruptured late Tuesday morning.

    The break sent at least 5 million gallons of raw sewage into nearby Valley Creek, shutting down the park and the roads that run through it.

    Officials as far away as Philadelphia have been closely monitoring conditions in the Schuylkill River since yesterday. Valley Creek feeds into the river, a source for Philadelphia’s drinking water.

    “It’s a bad situation,” said Robert Bonney, a waterways conservation officer with the Philadelphia Fish and Boat Commission. “This is the second time in a month [that the main has burst]. It’s the third time in the last year and a half. The pipe is old. It’s worn out.”

    The creek is home to brown trout, but Bonney said he hasn’t seen any dead fish.

    In an email, Joanne Dahme, a spokeswoman with the Philadelphia Water Department, said the spill has had “no negative impact on our drinking water-treatment process.”

    As sewage continued to flow downstream, crews were installing a new, roughly 20-foot section in the ruptured sewer main.

    “Once the pipe’s in the ground we can restart the system and start testing the flow … make sure there are no other leaks at that section,” said Tredyffrin Township Manager William Martin.

    Sections of Route 252 and Route 23 remain closed. If all goes well, Martin said, they’ll reopen Thursday evening.

    He said it’s “too early to speculate” what caused the pipe to burst.

    Township officials are looking into possibly replacing the entire main, a multimillion-dollar project.

    “It’s going to be in the eight-figures,” said Bonney. ” I don’t know where they find that.”

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