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

Green banner with DPW logo and text "Department of Public Works Press Release"

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.



Related Stories

DPW Offices and Facilities Close for Good Friday, March 29 Trash, Recycling Pickups to Resume Saturday, March 30

Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) Acting Director Khalil Zaied reminds residents that Good Friday, March 29, 2024, is a City holiday and DPW offices and sanitation yards will be CLOSEDThere will be NO trash or recycling collections on Good Friday. Trash and recycling collections, normally scheduled for Friday, March 29, will be collected on the make-up day, Saturday, March 30.

Mayor Scott to Nominate Khalil Zaied as New Director of the Department of Public Works

Mayor Brandon M. Scott has announced his intent to nominate Khalil Zaied as the new Director of the Department of Public Works (DPW). Zaied, who most recently led the Department of Public Works in Champaign, Illinois, will join DPW on March 18, 2024. Previously, he was a nearly 20 year veteran of Baltimore City Government, serving as Deputy Mayor of Operations and Director of Transportation, among other roles.

Mayor Scott, City Agencies Highlight the Return of Weekly Recycling

On Monday, March 4, Mayor Brandon M. Scott, Department of Public Works Interim Director Richard J. Luna, Department of General Services Director Berke Attila, and Baltimore City Chief Administrative Officer Faith Leach joined city staff and community members to highlight the return of weekly, curbside recycling collections for Baltimore City residents, starting Tuesday, March 5.