Raw sewage has been leaking into Baltimore's harbor for five days, city says

Raw sewage has been leaking into the Baltimore harbor for five days. The city still hasn't found the cause.

Untreated wastewater has been flowing from a hole in an East Baltimore sewer for at least five days, leaking more than 10,000 gallons of raw sewage into the harbor, while the city Department of Public Works continues to search for the cause, officials said Tuesday.

The overflow, discovered Thursday in the 21-inch sewer in the 1500 block of N. Chapel St., has been spilling untreated wastewater at an intermittent clip of 10 gallons per minute, public works spokesman Jeffrey Raymond said.

The sewage spill has not surfaced onto the street or sidewalk, officials said. Crews have sent a robot with a camera into the sewer, where they discovered the hole in a preliminary investigation, Raymond said.

A separate overflow Saturday released 21,000 gallons of sewage and rainwater into the Jones Falls at a structured outfall at Charles and Lanvale streets following a deluge of rain that flooded the city's sewer system, the department said.

State and federal regulators in June agreed to give Baltimore another five years to repair and replace cracked and aging portions of its sewer system to prevent raw sewage from pouring into its waterways.

The city spent $867 million on repairs over the past 14 years, but rain still frequently washes raw sewage into the Patapsco River, making it unsafe for swimming and at times uninhabitable for wildlife.

The department said it notified the Baltimore City Health Department and the state Department of the Environment of the sewage leaks, as required by law.

cmcampbell@baltun.com

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