Sewer pump malfunction causes problems for South Jersey waterway

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Sewer pump malfunction causes problems for South Jersey waterway. Annie McCormick reports during Action News at 11 p.m. on June 18, 2017.

A sewer pump issue is causing problems for a South Jersey waterway.

It happened around 5 p.m. Sunday along the Big Timber Creek in Gloucester Township.

Officials say the pump stopped working and leaked sewage into the creek.

The following statement was issued from the Camden County MUA:

"Our regional pumping station was out of service temporarily as the result of a power failure in Gloucester twp. Our maintenance team switched over to our diesel generator in order to minimize discharge of sewage to the Big Timber creek. We then switched back to regular electricity after the power was restored by the electric company."

Several thousands of gallons of sewage were discharged into the creek before crews were able to convert over to a diesel generator.

Officials say the drinking water is not effected and there is no boil water advisory.

A robo call went out to about 28 thousand residents warning them to stay away from Big Timber Creek.

Cell phone video captured sewage spilling out of a lower landing road manhole at a rate of a thousand gallons a minute in Gloucester Township, spilling into this stream that leads into Big Timber Creek.

"I got notified by phone. It said there was a sewage leak. It was pumping sewage into the creek for 90 minutes. They recommended to not use the water," Denise Vitkow of Runnemede, N.J. said.

Camden County officials told Action News a power outage put the regional pumping station on Chews Landing Road out of service temporarily.

The station operated by the Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority is next to the waterway.

Officials are warning residents to not swim, fish, eat fish or drink directly from the creeks or surrounding waterways for at least 24 hours.

The spokesperson says the drinking water is not affected because it doesn't come from the creek.

A party at the American Legion had to be evacuated for precaution.

The NJ Department of Environmental Protection was also at the scene.

Chews Landing Road is closed between Old Pike and Black Horse Pike, and Lower Landing Road is closed between Black Horse Pike and Chews Landing Road.
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new jersey newssewage spillGloucester Township
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