Sharples Works Apartments

Over the last few weeks West Chester first responders have been flooded with a series of incidents from closed roadways to damaged bridges to water rescues. Then last Wednesday morning, the Chester County Hazard Materials, West Chester fire, police, and Good Fellowship Ambulance teams responded to a hazardous waste incident at the Sharples Works Apartment complex.  The leak, which was determined to be from an old sewer pit, forced the evacuation of 30 residents. By noon all but three residents had been allowed to return to their apartments and the incident cleared. 

“There is no further threat to the public,” West Chester Police Chief Communications Officer Dave March shared on Facebook. The incident has been turned over to complex management and an environmental service company.

Oil Spill Investigated

Unfortunately, this is not the only leak plaguing the Borough. Late last month it was reported that there was an oil leak on Marshall Drive. The leak was confirmed last week by the Borough.

“While performing a home improvement project, a contractor accidentally released heating oil which was discharged to the street and a nearby stream via a stormwater inlet.  The exact quantity of oil is unknown,” Public Works Director Don Edwards shared via email. Public Works employees were dispatched to the property to help clean and remove the oil from the roadway and inlet adjacent to the property.

“The contractor and homeowner were informed that additional corrective action is needed and a stop work order posted until all proper remediation is completed,” said Mr. Edwards. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Fish & Wildlife Commission were also informed. The PA DEP issued a letter to the homeowners notifying them proper cleanup of the spill is required. In the meantime, Public Works continues to keep an eye on things. 

“We are monitoring this situation daily to protect public health and the health of our streams,” said Mr. Edwards.

West Chester Public Works also continues to monitor a “relatively small, ongoing sewage discharge” into the storm sewer system. The leak, which is located near the intersection of W. Washington and Hannum Avenue, has been plaguing the Borough since June. Public Works employees have yet to identify the source of the leak, but for now, it seems they have things under control. “The Borough is also operating a temporary pump daily to remove the unclean water from the stream,” said Mr. Edwards. 

Originally published, July 28, 2023

This story is part of a longer weekly West Chester newsletter. Curious what else is going on? You can find the full issue here and the latest newsletter here. Even easier? Subscribe here to get the future issues delivered directly.

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