No Raw Sewage Found in the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant Outfall

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The Department of Public Works (DPW) maintains that the continuous characterization of discharges from the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant as untreated wastewater is absolutely not factual.

The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) examined a sample of solid waste materials observed earlier this week (April 14) in Back River. MDE’s analysis indicated that this was NOT raw sewage. The sample of solid waste material collected this week appears similar to the sample MDE received from Blue Water Baltimore on March 23.

The microscopic analysis of the March 23 sample showed no life visible (i.e., bacteria, fungi, protozoan, rotifers, and nematodes), indicating there were no undigested byproducts. The strong odor in both samples was similar to nutrient-rich oxygen-depleted marsh mud.

DPW continues to work closely with MDE and the Maryland Environmental Services (MES) agencies to ensure optimal performance of the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant by collecting and comparing river samples daily. DPW will continue to partner with MDE and MES to ensure compliance.

BR Water 

A water sample taken from the outfall.

SOURCE: Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant, taken April 14.



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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.