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Baltimore’s weekend rains cause 1.3 million gallons of sewage-tainted water to overflow

Baltimore’s heavy rains over the weekend caused about 1.3 million gallons of mixed sewer and storm water to overflow into the Jones Falls.

Baltimore Department of Public Works officials announced the overflow Tuesday, stating the structures through which the water escaped are more than 100 years old and scheduled to be removed as part of the ongoing work under the city’s sanitary sewer consent decree.

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Baltimore is under a consent decree with state and federal environmental regulators to stop the sewage pollution by 2021.

Sewage overflows occur any time heavy rain inundates Baltimore’s century-old sewer system, infiltrating it through cracked and broken pipes and exacerbating backups that exist even during dry weather.

The department maps sewage overflows across the city online. However, the data was unavailable this week amid a ransomware attack on city government.

City officials also advised members of the public to avoid direct contact with waterways impacted by the overflow and discouraged full-body contact with surface waters citywide.

For additional information regarding potential health impacts, residents are asked to call 410-396-4428. For additional information pertaining to a specific overflow, residents should call 410-545-6541.

Baltimore Sun reporter Scott Dance contributed to this article.

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