CALIFORNIA, Md. — A water utility warned last month that an overwhelmed sewage system sent more than 25,000 gallons of waste into a Potomac River tributary. But the Maryland Department of the Environment said it wasn’t until Virginia officials investigating a foodborne illness outbreak reached out two weeks later that officials closed an affected part of the St. Mary’s River, The Baltimore Sun reported.
Usually officials alert the public before shellfish are harvested or eaten. It’s not clear how it managed to occur, department spokesman Jay Apperson said, but the department is building redundancies into its process to keep it from happening again.
The illnesses were linked to a winery where Maryland oysters were served, Loudoun County Health Department environmental health manager George Khan said.