Environmental Protection Agency

In January, 2006, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) promulgated Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (“LT2”) to protect public health from illness due toCryptosporidium and other microbial pathogens found in sources of drinking water. EPA is concerned that uncovered finished water storage facilities can lead to degradation of water quality and health risks, and is therefore requiring public water systems to meet the conditions listed below.

By April 1, 2009, water systems were required to:

  1. cover any uncovered finished drinking water storage facilities; or
  2. treat the discharge from the uncovered finished water storage facility for viruses and other microbes using a protocol approved by the State; or
  3. be in compliance with a State-approved schedule to meet conditions (1) and/or (2).

The City chose to comply with condition (3) above, which is to be in compliance by April 1, 2009 with a State-approved schedule for covering its five open drinking water storage facilities and/or installing treatment facilities that treat the drinking water prior to being discharged into the distribution system.

In accordance with condition (3) above, on January 12, 2009, the City submitted a proposed schedule (Schedule) to the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). The initial schedule was changed as requested by MDE and resubmitted on March 31, 2009. On April 1, 2009, the MDE approved the City’s Schedule to cover or treat discharge from these uncovered finished water storage reservoirs by December 31, 2018. The City currently plans to replace three of the reservoirs with tanks, and to install treatment facilities at the other two reservoirs.

On July 20, 2009, the EPA issued a Notice of Violation because the City’s Schedule should have been incorporated into an enforceable agreement by April 1, 2009. The City contends it did not receive MDE’s proposed settlement agreement (Settlement Agreement) until May 8, 2009. On September 2, 2009, the City signed the Settlement Agreement with the MDE, which incorporated the Schedule that MDE had approved on April 1, 2009.

The EPA maintains that the City failed to comply with LT2 because it failed to sign an enforceable agreement for its Schedule by the April 1, 2009 deadline. Such a violation of drinking water regulations requires the City to issue a notice to the public for this violation of the LT2.

What does this mean?

An uncovered reservoir used to store treated drinking water is susceptible to contamination from animals, such as birds or insects. Inadequately treated water may contain disease-causing organisms. These organisms include bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can cause such symptoms as nausea, cramps, diarrhea, and associated headaches. These symptoms, however, are not cause only by organism in drinking water, but also by other factors. 

What Should I do?

This situation is not an emergency; you would have been notified immediately if it had been. There is nothing you need to do. If you have specific health concerns about yourself or persons who may be at risk, such as young children, elderly residents, or persons with severely compromised immune systems (those undergoing chemotherapy, those who are HIV-positive, or have other immune system problems) you may wish to consult your health care provider. General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1(800)426-4791.

You do not need to boil your water or take other corrective actions. If a situation arises where the water is no longer safe to drink, you will be notified within 24 hours.

Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or by distributing copies by hand or mail.

Esta nota contiene información importante sobre el agua potable. Hable con alguien que la entienda o que se la pueda traducir.

What is being done by the City?

The City is continuing to move toward implementation of cover and treatment options for each of the five reservoirs in accordance with the following Schedule.

  1. Towson Finished Water Reservoir projected construction substantial completion– May 31, 2013.
  2. Montebello WFP 2 Finished Water Reservoir projected construction substantial completion – June 30, 2014.
  3. Guilford Finished Water Reservoir projected construction substantial completion – February 16, 2016.
  4. Druid Lake projected construction substantial completion – June 25, 2018.
  5. Ashburton Lake projected construction substantial completion – December 31, 2018.

The City of Baltimore routinely monitors the water quality of the entire System and has implemented enhanced disinfection efforts at each facility to provide an interim public health and safety protection level until the permanent improvements are completed.

For more information, including a copy of the Schedule for bringing the City’s uncovered reservoirs into compliance with the LT2, please contact the Baltimore Department of Public Works at (410) 396-3310 or write to Mr. Alfred H. Foxx, Director of Public Works, 600 Abel Wolman Municipal Building, Baltimore, Maryland 21202.

This notice is being sent to you by the Baltimore Department of Public Works. Public Water System ID# MD0300002,

Sent: July 30, 2010