Monday storms washed nearly 600,000 gallons of sewage-contaminated water into Baltimore harbor

Two rounds of heavy rainfall Monday washed nearly 600,000 gallons of sewage-contaminated stormwater into Baltimore's harbor, city officials said.

A mix of human waste and storm runoff routinely overflows from Baltimore’s sewage system during heavy rainfall. Water enters sewers through breaks and cracks in pipes and reaches streams and the harbor through outflows designed a century ago to relieve the system when it’s overloaded.

The largest single overflow Monday, about 208,000 gallons, washed into the Jones Falls near the Baltimore Streetcar Museum during an early morning rainstorm.

More overflows occurred when a round of storms passed through Monday night.

The city is required to close the outflows and stop most sewage overflows by 2021 under a consent decree with the Environmental Protection Agency and Maryland Department of the Environment.

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