A July 7 Baltimore Sun B’More Green blog post reported that after touring Baltimore City’s 99-year Montebello water treatment plant, United States Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski reiterated their intent to seek federal funding for upgrading aging and failing water system infrastructure.
“This is no longer state of the art,” Cardin said of the filtration plant, which was completed in 1915. …“We need to make a commitment to our water infrastructure,” said Cardin. He has introduced a bill to provide $50 million a year in matching federal grants to communities to make their systems more resilient and sustainable in the face of changing climate conditions. As chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Mikulski has pushed for $200 million in increased funding in a pair of measures.
“We’re not saving money by not modernizing,” said Mikulski, who noted that her great-grandfather had worked as a ditch digger in the 1880s, helping lay water lines in the city. She and Cardin marveled at an old wooden pipe on display at the plant, but one utility manager pointed out that a crew recently came across one in the ground, still carrying water.
The article noted that City official estimate it will cost between $4.5 to $5.0 billion to upgrade and repair the City’s water piping and treatment systems.