Friday Storms Lead to Sewer Overflows

Press Release

The heavy rains in the Baltimore area on Friday, Nov. 2, contributed to a sanitary sewer overflow of 917,000 gallons of stormwater mixed with sewer water into the Jones Falls near Preston Street. This volume was released through structured overflows, located underground, and did not spill onto City streets. 

Structured overflows were designed as part of Baltimore’s sewer system more than 100 years ago to alleviate excess volume in the wastewater system when storm water infiltrates into the sewer mains. The structures automatically divert excess water directly into streams in order to prevent it from surfacing on streets or in basements. DPW is in the process of improving its sewer system and eliminating these structures as part of the $2 billion Sanitary Sewer Consent Decree. 

DPW engineers are currently assessing preliminary data regarding overflows from additional rain this morning.

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.

Citizens who experience basement sewage backups as a result of rain events are encouraged to take advantage of the city’s Expedited Reimbursement Program. 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 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.

Related Stories

DPW Offices, Yards Closed for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day is a City holiday; the Baltimore City Department of Public Works’ (DPW) offices and yards will be closed on Thursday, November 22. DPW offices and facilities are open on Friday, November 23, and trash and recycling collections will occur as scheduled on that day.

Update: Wet Weather Contributed to Two Sanitary Sewer Overflows on Nov. 15

As previously reported, rain and snow on November 15, contributed to two sanitary sewer overflows of stormwater mixed with sewer water into the Jones Falls.  As an update, the final total for the overflow at 428 E. Preston Street for this rain event was 7.1 million gallons.  These releases occurred underground in structured overflows and did not spill into city streets. 

Rain Contributes to Sewer Overflow on Tuesday

Rains in the Baltimore area early this week contributed to a sanitary sewer overflow into the Jones Falls of 554,000 gallons of stormwater mixed with sewer water.

Contact

Jeffrey Raymond
410-545-6541
[email protected]
Kurt Kocher
410-545-6541
[email protected]
Jennifer Combs
410-545-6541
[email protected]
After hours, weekends, or holidays please call 410-396-3100 for the duty officer

The Baltimore City Department of Public Works supports the health, environment, and economy of our City and region by cleaning our neighborhoods and waterways and providing its customers with safe drinking water and sustainable energy practices.