Penn officials are on the lookout for trucks that are illegally dumping sewage in a township pumping station.

Penn office manager Harold Walls said township workers believe someone dumped a truckload in the station near Elk Creek about a month-and-a-half ago.

"We haven't seen it since, but we're keeping a wary eye on pumpers and haulers," he said.

Walls said he is not sure how much raw sewage was dumped, but it appears that a large quantity of between 1,000 and 2,000 gallons came through the line and set off alarms.

The township has three or four designated spots where workers have access to the sewage system pipes, he said. To expose the interior of the system a person must lift a manhole and then a concrete seal with handles on it. It can be accomplished by one strong person, he said.

Walls said the sewage likely comes from a truck that has cleaned out a residential septic tank. Companies that perform this service are supposed to empty their contents in one of several locations farther away - one is in West Chester and another is in Wilmington.

He theorized that the dump in Penn was made for convenience or to save on the fee in the early morning hours.

Residents have been asked to report any suspicious activity in the area of the pumping stations. In fact, the township got one call from a woman who said she saw a truck in one of the inlet locations. However, it turned out to be a truck that was delivering diesel fuel to run the motor.

When the woman apologized for reporting what was actually legal activity, Walls said he told her he appreciated the call and that she did the right thing.

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