Vandals recently plugged a sewer manhole with tires, branches, concrete and metal, forcing 7,000 gallons a day of wastewater into Midway Creek.
"This is the worst one that has happened in Medford," said Cory Crebbin, the city's Public Works director. "It's a crime under federal law."
City workers discovered the plugged manhole on May 8, but aren't sure how long wastewater had been flowing into Midway Creek, off Ford Drive near Highway 62.
Crebbin said city workers fabricated their own tools to extricate the debris thrown into the manhole.
A locking manhole cover was installed to prevent further blockages. The manhole is located in a field that is popular with local children.
A day after the blockage was cleared bacteria returned to normal levels in Midway. The state Department of Environmental Quality and federal officials were both notified about the sewage spill.
— Damian Mann