DPW Reports Sanitary Sewer Overflow

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Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) reports that a sanitary sewer overflowed into the Jones Falls in the early hours of Friday, July 29. The overflow followed several hours of rain, including two downpours, and stopped around 5:30 a.m.  The total release was estimated to be about 14,000 gallons. This incident occurred underground in a structured overflow at North Charles and West Lanvale Streets and did not spill onto any streets.

Such structured overflows were designed as part of Baltimore’s sewer system more than 100 years ago but are being eliminated as part of the City’s $1 billion Consent Decree sewer rehabilitation. Structured overflows act as a release valve when the pipes are surcharged with rainwater that enters the sewer mains during heavy rains.

No other significant overflows were reported as a result of the recent rains. The Baltimore City Health Department and the Maryland Department of the Environment were notified of this event. 

Typically, but especially during times of heavy, prolonged rain, the public is urged not to come into contact with urban streams because of the possibility that pollutants have been washed into them. Permanent signs to this effect are posted along our urban streams.



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