Ft. Detrick Making Repairs To Steam Sterilization Plant

It was flooded during the recent heavy rains.


Frederick, Md (KM) Fort Detrick says repairs are underway at its steam sterilization plant.

The facility which sterilizes wastewater from laboratories on post was flooded with rainwater. The water was discovered on May 17th, says a new release from the post. On May 25th, personnel say they also discovered a leaking storage tank which was filled to capacity as a result of the recent heavy rains. That caused a backup and resulted in a leak outside of the plant’s concrete containment wall.

Waste water from laboratories on post is chemically disinfected at the source, and then routed to the plant where it’s held in storage tanks prior to entering the stream sterilization process.

Fort Detrick says it’s taking the necessary precautions to safeguard its employees and the surrounding the community.

The US Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases uses the steam processing plant to treat wastewater from its containment labs. It has temporarily halted operations at its Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) and (BSL) 4 labs until the sterilization of liquid can resume.

Post officials say they are keeping local, state and federal officials updated on the status of the plant. They’re also working with regulatory agencies, including the Centers for the Disease Control and Prevention and the Maryland Department of the Environment,  to make sure the facility is in compliance and taking all the necessary steps.


By Kevin McManus