For years, people in Baltimore have lived with the presence of sewage in local waters, be it in the harbor, the Jones Falls, the Gwynns Falls, Herring Run, or any of their tributaries. City Hall, in order to avoid costly litigation and the likelihood of extreme penalties for failing to comply with the Clean Water Act for this problem, in 2002 agreed to spend about a billion dollars over 14 years to fix its leaky sewer system. Since then, users of the system have seen their water-and-wastewater bills rise dramatically, as efforts to pay for the costly repairs have mounted. Yet still, the sewage leaks, the air reeks, and waterways remain fouled. Now we know why: Blue Water Baltimore, a non-profit organization that seeks to improve the degraded water quality of the area's waterways, today filed lengthy legal papers demonstrating the abject failure of city, state, and federal regulators to properly uphold their legal duties under the Clean Water Act and the 2002 agreement, known as a consent decree, that avoided costly litigation. In seeking to intervene in the federal court case under which the consent degree was entered, BWB's lawyers have done an admirable job demonstrating the facts of the matter: despite underwriting expensive efforts to deliver a sealed sewer system that keeps waters from being fouled by delivering sewage only to treatment plants, the city's residents still live cheek-to-jowel with sewage that's erupting up through manhole covers in storms, steadily flowing directly into the Jones Falls from an outfall, and chronically leaking from upstream pipes that haven't been replaced or repaired.