"When Chesapeake Bay oysters and other shellfish become contaminated with sewage or other pollution, Maryland environmental officials normally alert the public before any are harvested or eaten. But that didn’t happen after a recent sewage spill in Southern Maryland — and at least two dozen people became ill.
A surging tide that set records around the bay overwhelmed the sewage system along a narrow island in St. Mary’s County, causing about 25,000 gallons of waste to leak into a Potomac River tributary Oct. 28-30, according to the St. Mary’s County Metropolitan Commission. The water and sewer utility reported it to the public, a Facebook post shows, and to the Maryland Department of the Environment, said George Erichsen, the commission’s executive director.
But it wasn’t until two weeks later, on Nov. 13, that the state environmental agency raised any alarm about the contamination — and that was because of reports of illness from an event in Northern Virginia where oysters from the St. Mary’s River were served."