Preparing Your Building for Reopening

DPW Press Release

Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) Acting Director Matthew W. Garbark reminds owners of vacated or closed businesses and/or large buildings to check their water systems in preparation for "reopening." 

Note: Using water from our mains is the freshest, cleanest water for flushing building lines, without adding chemicals which could be harmful.

Most solutions for this are relatively simple for smaller structures, but as property managers of larger buildings are aware, there are a number of steps that must be taken to ensure proper flushing of water lines and cleaning of fixtures.

What happens in a building when the water system is not used for longer than usual periods of time?

  • The building’s water system begins at the meter where water enters the building and includes all plumbing, storage and fixtures to each tap.
  • When the water is not used, the disinfectant in the water dissipates. Without the disinfectant, microorganisms grow on pipes, fixtures and in tanks.
  • The protective scale on pipes can destabilize. Without the protective scale, toxic metals can dissolve or shear off as particles and end up in the water. 
  • Potentially harmful substances, such as disinfection byproducts (DBPs) can build up.
  • Mechanical equipment such as cooling towers, boilers and pumps should undergo routine maintenance.
  • Backflow preventers should be tested annually.

The scientists and engineers at the Environmental Science, Policy & Research Institute (ESPRI) and AH Environmental Consultants, Inc. (AH) have developed brief guidance material to help those who are responsible for maintaining large buildings’ water systems. Click here to read that material.

For residential customers, and those businesses that have continued to operate with regular water usage, you can be assured that your water supply is safe and plentiful.   

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Update: DPW Announces Changes to the Solid Waste Continuity of Service Plan

Extended Hours and New Locations for Community Collection Recycling Centers

Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) Acting Director Matthew W. Garbark today announced the findings of the assessment of the Community Collection Centers for recycling locations under the Solid Waste Continuity of Service Plan. Effective Monday, Sept. 14, the Community Collection Centers’ hours for all locations will be extended on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.  The Centers will continue to be open to City residents Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm for recycling drop-off.  The Citizens’ Convenience Drop-Off Centers’ hours will remain unchanged.

Labor Day Holiday Notice

Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) Acting Director Matthew W. Garbark reminds citizens that Labor Day, Monday, September 7, is a City holiday. DPW offices and yards will be CLOSED.  

Recycling Community Collection Centers will not be open on Labor Day.

DPW Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Days are Friday - Saturday, Sept. 4 and 5

Baltimore City Department of Public Works Acting Director Matthew W. Garbark today reminds citizens that the Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off event for September will occur on Friday and Saturday, September 4 and 5.  The event will be held from 9:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. on both days, September 4 and 5 at the Northwest Citizens' Convenience Center, located at 2840 Sisson Street. 

Residents who come to Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off events are asked to wear a face covering and to stay inside their vehicles. 


Jennifer Combs
Kurt Kocher
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.