All of which is, of course, a load of mud. To our knowledge, no one has ever suggested that silt, soil and sediment flowing down the Susquehanna River was not a problem for water quality. For decades, the Conowingo (and other smaller dams along the river and its tributaries), have essentially trapped these pollutants from flowing further downstream. Such pollution mitigation is not the point of a dam but a side benefit. As these reservoirs have filled up with silt, however, that benefit has diminished — and, in recent years, at a faster rate than some scientists had predicted and to the point where it's now regarded as full. What experts argued at the time, and continue to preach, is that it's not a choice of one or the other in terms of fighting pollution. Maryland and the other states in the Chesapeake watershed need to take an "all of the above" approach to protecting the bay from pollution, whether it comes from chicken manure, parking lot runoff, failing septic tanks, sewage spills or anything else.