Questions Remain About True Impact from Valley Forge Sewage Leak

By Vince Lattanzio
|  Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014  |  Updated 10:13 PM EDT
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Crews continue to work at the site of a sewer main spill at Valley Forge National Park. NBC10's Deanna Durante has the latest details on the progress of the cleanup as well as the potential environmental risk.

NBC10.com - Deanna Durante

Crews continue to work at the site of a sewer main spill at Valley Forge National Park. NBC10's Deanna Durante has the latest details on the progress of the cleanup as well as the potential environmental risk.

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Pennsylvania wildlife officials say it could be some time before they know the true impact of a major sewer line break inside Valley Forge National Historical Park.

The break, which happened Tuesday morning under the intersection of Routes 252 and 23 in Tredyffrin Township, Pa., sent millions of gallons of raw sewage spewing into Valley Creek. At the height of the leak, officials said 5,000 gallons of sewage a minute was flowing out of the 30-inch main which services five townships.

Valley Creek flows through the park and terminates into the Schuylkill River. Officials with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission tell NBC10.com there's no threat to the river because of the amount of fresh ground water in the waterway.

However, officials could not rule out the possibility of a fish kill from exposure to the sewage. The commission says fish eggs are also about to hatch and such a spill could kill the offspring.

Officials tell NBC10.com it will be some time before the full environmental impact from the spill is realized.

Aqua America, the water utility servicing the surrounding towns, say their water is pulled upstream of the spill so the sewage is not expected to affect service.

Utility workers brought in a new water main early Wednesday morning and have been working to replace the damaged pipe.

Routes 252 and 23 remain closed as a result of the work. But, Valley Forge National Historic Park is open to visitors, park rangers say.

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