Update on Sinkhole at Montebello I Water Treatment Plant

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

 As a follow-up to earlier communication regarding the sinkhole at the Montebello I Water Treatment Plant (Montebello I) property, the Department of Public Works (DPW) assures the public that the plant continues to deliver adequate and high-quality drinking water.

“On Wednesday afternoon, DPW personnel discovered a sinkhole at the Montebello 1 Water Treatment Plant, likely caused by the deterioration and partial failure of a stormwater main installed in the 1880s. This sinkhole exposed an 84-inch drinking water main installed over 30 feet above the stormwater main. On Thursday evening, out of an abundance of caution and to ensure the safety of those working at the location to repair the stormwater main, DPW took the exposed 84-inch water main offline and activated a previously offline 48-inch drinking water main to supplement service. DPW made this decision to ensure the safe mitigation of the sinkhole while workers rehabilitate the site. Before reinstating the 48-inch main, DPW completed sampling and determined that no contamination was present.

“DPW continues to test throughout the system to ensure we deliver high-quality water to our regional customers. Some customers may experience lower than normal water pressure during this period.

“From the onset of this issue, DPW has communicated consistently with our regulators, namely the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). MDE has committed to supporting DPW through the resolution of this incident.

“DPW and the entire Scott Administration remain committed to keeping residents and businesses informed and will provide regular updates as information becomes available.

Director Jason W. Mitchell, Ed.D.

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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.