Crews worked through the night to repair a broken sewer main that sent 5,000 gallons of sewage per minute into the creek at the Valley Forge National Historical Park.
The break occurred in the Valley Creek Trunk Sewer Force Main Tuesday morning near the intersection of Routes 252 and 23 in Tredyffrin Township, Chester County, Pa., according to township officials.
The 30-inch main is shared by Tredyffrin Township, Easttown Township, East Whiteland Township, Malvern Borough and Willistown Township.
Park rangers and police said water from the broken sewer main pushed through Route 23 in the park around 11 a.m. Tuesday and spilled off the side of the road.
Officials say the same main also broke six weeks ago, though they have not yet determined the cause of that break or the most recent one.
"I don't want to speculate right now," said William Martin, a Tredyffrin Township worker. "We've engaged other consultants to give us a long-term assessment of the pipe."
Overnight crews removed the pipe. A new pipe is expected to arrive at the scene around 7 a.m. Wednesday.
"We're working as fast as we can," Martin said. "Really it's a time game to get the pipe back in the ground."
The following roads that run through the park are closed:
- Route 23 eastbound from Davis Road to Rt. 252
- Route 23 westbound from N. Gulph Road to Rt. 252
- Route 252 is closed northbound from the Pa. Turnpike
- North and South Outer Line Drives
- Gulph Road is closed from Thomas Road to Rt. 23
- Yellow Springs Road is closed at the Covered Bridge
Public works officials expect these sections of road in the immediate area to be closed for several days as construction crews continue to repair the damaged water main and resurface portions of the street.
A PennDOT official told NBC10 that the broken main caused thousands of gallons of sewage per minute to leak into the Valley Creek, which feeds into the Schuylkill River. Officials say more than three million gallons of sewage may be in the creek.
Officials say the sewage leak doesn't pose a threat to humans but could be a safety concern for wildlife in the area.
NBC10 reached out to the Pa. Department of Environmental Protection asking how the leak could impact the surrounding area and the towns downriver, but officials have not responded to our calls.