This week's 4 p.m.-Friday Sewer Spill Press Release: No, wait, it was actually 12 million gallons

This week's 4 p.m.-Friday Sewer Spill Press Release: No, wait, it was actually 12 million gallons
Illustration by Alex Fine.

And what drops in our email box at 4:38 p.m.? Presented without comment. Because why even bother?

OK, one comment: here's the post on last week's release.


And here is this week's, now enriched with 9 million more gallons of sewage overflow:

Update on Aug. 12 Sanitary Sewer Overflows

Second Highest Rainfall in History Flooded Sewer Lines

BALTIMORE, MD (August 22, 2014) –  The rainfall of early last week was one of the heaviest ever recorded in the region. This resulted in extreme amounts of rainwater infiltration into our aging sewer lines, causing this rain water and diluted sewage to overflow at several locations. While the storm was ongoing the Department notified the public of the known events as they were happening.

Subsequent gathered information, along with data analysis, revealed that amid the August 12 rains more than 9 million gallons was lost from another three locations: Eager Street at Durham Street in East Baltimore; the 1700 block of E. Chase St., and 2100 block of Wicomico Street in Southwest Baltimore.

A previously reported overflow at the Patapsco Wastewater Treatment Plant on the afternoon of Tuesday, Aug. 12, has been estimated at approximately 3 million gallons. The overflow began at 2:30 p.m. and was stopped at 7:25 p.m.

A related sewage overflow less than a half mile away, at a pumping station at Patapsco Avenue and Shell Road, was identified late that evening and was stopped in the early morning hours of Thursday, Aug. 14. That incident resulted in approximately 170,300 gallons being spilled. Both overflows went into the Patapsco River.

Another previously reported overflow on the afternoon of Aug. 12, at 1901 Falls Road, was also stopped that evening. It is estimated that a flow of 50 gallons per minute released 23,050 gallons into the Jones Falls.

The August 12 rainfall of 6.3 inches was the second-highest one-day total for Baltimore on record. The volume of storm water overwhelmed the system, causing flooding as it infiltrated the City's sanitary sewers.

Baltimore City is in the construction phase of a Consent Decree Program which involves the investment of more than $1 billion to renovate our wastewater transmission system. This, along with other major capital projects, will help to alleviate such overflows. The public should be mindful that until this work is completed, urban streams are subject to these pollutants. This is especially true following heavy rainfall, therefore contact with the water should be avoided.

The Department of Public Works encourages residents to report suspected sewer overflows to 311. The Maryland Department of the Environment and the Baltimore City Health Department were notified of these events.

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