Final Totals for Sewer Overflows from Historic July Rainfalls
Tuesday Aug 7th, 2018
Final reports are in for sewer/stormwater overflows that occurred during the last weeks of July. These resulted from the heaviest rainfall in Baltimore in July on record. Much of this overflow was released through structured outfalls, designed as part of Baltimore’s sewer system more than 100 years ago. The City will close the last of these structures once the new Headworks project is operational at Back River in late 2020. This will also eliminate over 80 % of such overflows into our streams and harbor. Headworks is part of the City’s $2 billion wastewater Consent Decree program.
To recap, from July 21-25 – 45 million gallons were released. This was already reported. On July 27 an additional total of approximately 3.15 million gallons was released from eight locations.
Last week DPW also reported on storm damage to sewer lines at two locations: Maidens Choice Run (behind the 300 block of S. Beechfield Avenue), and on the Gwynns Falls near Edmondson Avenue and Hilton Parkway. Severe structural damage caused sewage/rainwater releases that were stopped by bypass pumping on August 1 (Maidens Choice Run) and on August 4 (Gwynns Falls). These overflows were 1.3 million gallons (Maidens Choice Run), and 36 million gallons (Gwynns Falls). Repair work is pending.
The Baltimore City Health Department and the Maryland Department of the Environment were notified of the sewage releases. The public is reminded to avoid contact with urban waterways due to the risk of pollution. For information about health concerns as a result of sewer overflows please go to http://health.baltimorecity.gov/sanitary-sewer-overflows-sso.
As a reminder, citizens who experience basement sewage backups as a result of rain events are encouraged to take advantage of the city’s Expedited Reimbursement Program (ERP). This program is to reimburse residents and property owners for cleanup costs related to sewage backups caused by wet weather. Application and eligibility information can be found at this link: https://publicworks.baltimorecity.gov/sewer-consent-decree/building-backups. Please note that this program is NOT designed for costs related to flood damage, hurricanes, or other extreme weather events.