(May 3, 2019) In 25 days of work, Ocean City Public Works crews cleaned out more than 24,000 linear feet of storm drain piping and removed what amounted to about 196.5 tons of sand and sediment.

Public Works Director Hal Adkins and Deputy Director Woody Vickers provided a summary of the work at the City Council work session Tuesday.

According to Adkins, the cleanup, which also involved 144 catch basins and 31 manholes, removed 131 cubic yards of material. That would fill up about eight large dump trucks, Vickers said.

Several phases of work focused on the areas of Sinepuxent Avenue from 146th to 130th Street, Jamaica Avenue from 127th to 123rd Street, and Philadelphia Avenue from 14th to 9th Street.

Samples collected during the cleaning were sent to Gail Blazer, the city’s environmental engineer, whose analysis found them to be 55 percent sand, 12.5 percent silt and about 22 percent clay, according to Vickers. He said Blazer also determined about 98.5 pounds of phosphorus and roughly 452 pounds of nitrogen were removed.

Storm drain gunk

Sediment and other gunk was removed by the ton during recent efforts by the city's public works department to clean out storm drains. 

Vickers said Mike Miles and Greg Dale, in overseeing the project, also found many loose bricks and frames, which will be subject to future repairs.

“Some of the initial pictures we took were quite disturbing, in that unfortunately we found [large] chunks of asphalt … in some of the catch basins,” Adkins said. “It’s my assumption [the asphalt came from] the previous milling and paving of highway efforts.”

Adkins said more work has been budgeted and planned to start this fall, with the program possibly extending another year after that. Adkins added some sections of storm drains are so new that they don’t need cleaning yet.

Josh Davis is an MDDC award-winning editor and reporter at the Bayside Gazette and Ocean City Today newspapers, covering Berlin and Ocean Pines, Maryland. He is the author of three novels, including 'Vanishing is the Last Art' (2012). He lives in Berlin.

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