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Consent Decree Program

On September 30, 2002 the City entered into a Consent Decree (CD) with the United States and the State of Maryland. This obligated the City to fund a comprehensive wastewater collection system evaluation and rehabilitation program.

The basic requirements are as follows:

  • Elimination of existing sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) and combined sanitary overflows (CSOs)
  • A comprehensive sewer evaluation program.
  • A comprehensive sewer rehabilitation program.
  • Continuous upgrades to operations and maintenance.

This is a 14 year program with set deadlines: 2002 to 2016. Approximate Cost is $1B.

For more information regarding the Consent Decree and the City’s implementation plan, please view the following documents:

Elimination of SSO Discharge

  • Design -  All projects designed
  • Construction Advertisement  - All projects have been advertised for construction
  • Construction - Originally 26 projects in CD; City divided into 39 projects: Approximate Cost: $330M including design.
    – 39 CD projects have completed on schedule
    – Over 29 miles of sewer rehabilitation
    – Over 10 miles of new/replaced sewer
  • Elimination of Engineered Overflows
    – 60 of 62 SSO/CSOs have been eliminated
  • Forest Park and Walbrook CSO Separation
    – System is separated

Evaluation and Sewershed Plans

  • Inspect 33,000 plus manholes
  • CCTV inspect all pipes 8” or greater (1,100+ miles)
  • Smoke/dye testing
  • Address emergency repairs
  • Update City GIS
  • Develop a hydraulic model for each sewershed and overall
  • I/I Evaluation
  • CIP recommendations and costs
  • Comprehensive plans to be submitted to MDE and EPA


  1. All construction projects and SSO eliminations have been performed within the deadlines (or revised deadlines). SSO eliminations mean less sewage getting into streams.
  2. All 8 Sewershed Final Reports submitted by July 1, 2010 per the CD deadline.
  3. City has seen a reduction in unpermitted SSOs City-wide despite on-going inspection of the entire system.
  4. MBE/WBE participation has been met for all contracted work.
  5. Excellent management processes in place, ranging from email communication protocols to web-based technical guidelines.


  1.  Ensuring all schedule milestones are met.
  2. Managing large volume of data.
  3. Inspection of all manholes and sewer mains in collection system.
  4. Keeping the public and community groups informed on aspects of the Consent Decree (solution - we updated the City website to include more information).
  5. Leveraging resources, such as CCTV trucks, for such a large program
    while competing against surrounding jurisdictions’ Consent Decree work.
  6. Addressing sources of sewage located in the storm system, despite the
    fact that the Consent Decree is for a separate system.
  7. County flows and determining impact on City Rehabilitation projects
  8. Development of long term capital projects that eliminate SSOs and
    determination of the optimal wet weather conditions to support modeling.
  9. Completing all Rehabilitation project by 2016

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