This article can be found published on the Daily Local News‘ website and the Delaware County Daily Times‘ website.
WEST GOSHEN — A sewer force main, a pressurized pipe, on Bolmar Street in West Goshen was blocked, causing a leak of untreated sewage into a stormwater pipe and into Goose Creek Thursday.
This comes almost four months after a sanitary pipe break in the borough on April 6 also contaminated Goose Creek.
“West Goshen and West Chester wastewater personnel and public works people are both out there right now trying to figure out specifically where the rupture is in that force main,” said West Chester Borough Manager Michael Cotter in the early afternoon. “As of an hour ago (noon), I hadn’t heard that they found that yet.”
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Cotter said the personnel were going through all the necessary steps needed to find and contain the damage.
“Once they’ve done that, the cleanup efforts will begin,” Cotter said.
After being alerted to the leak, the West Goshen Sewer Authority was on the scene and discovered a blockage and had it removed within 45 minutes, said West Goshen’s Assistant Township Manager Derek Davis.
Though the Sewer Authority found the blockage, it is unsure if there could also be structural damage to the pipe, compounding the problem.
“We haven’t found anywhere yet where the pipe is structurally compromised,” Davis said. “It’s a bit of an unknown.”
The Sewer Authority is expected to continue further inspections into what could have caused the blockage
“More investigating needs to be done in order to determine (the blockage),” Davis said. “We’ll most likely have to camera the line in order to better determine where the problem originated. It will check the structural integrity of the pipe, which should help determine exactly where it was coming from.”
The untreated sewage from the force main leaked into a 48-inch West Chester stormwater pipe.
That pipe discharges into Goose Creek, a tributary to the east branch of Chester Creek.
“There’s untreated sewage contaminating Goose Creek right now,” Cotter said.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has been informed of the situation and the borough has posted notices on its website and Facebook page to alert residents.
The borough first noticed the break because of Goose Creek Thursday morning.
“I believe West Chester Public Works personnel noticed a change in condition in Goose Creek this morning,” Cotter said.
For the time being, residents are warned to stay away from the contaminated creek.
“Stay out of the creek,” Cotter said. “It’s contaminated with untreated sewage, making it a health hazard to be in the creek right now.”
As of now, there is no time frame as to when it will be safe for residents to come into contact with the creek.