85 million gallons of sewage-tainted water flowed into Baltimore's harbor during heavy rains, pipe breaks

Intense rain in July and subsequent sewer line breaks in August caused more than 85 million gallons of sewage-tainted water to flow into Baltimore’s harbor over two weeks, city officials said Tuesday.

Much of the overflows were because the city’s water and sewage system releases tainted water when rains are too heavy for the system to hold. Baltimore’s sewer system was designed more than 100 years ago, and city officials say the overflow problem will continue until at least 2020 while they work on $2 billion in infrastructure upgrades.

From July 21 to July 25, 45 million gallons of sewage-tainted water were released. Additionally, on July 27, more than 3 million gallons were released, according to the city.

Last week, the Department of Public Works reported damage to two sewer lines: Maidens Choice Run, behind the 300 block of South Beechfield Ave., where 1.3 million gallons overflowed Aug. 1; and the Gwynns Falls stream near Edmondson Avenue, where 36 million gallons overflowed Aug. 4.

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