Maybe Stay Away From the Bay Today (July 31)…

A little over a hundred years ago, Baltimore City finally completed construction of its wastewater system –  and, since it was one of the last East Coast sewer systems to come to fruition, it was one of the most modern of the day.

This means that, unlike in other East Coast cities with even older systems, not all of the stormwater gets combined with sewage and dumped into the water.

Even so, when the City gets too much rain – like this month, with its record downpours- stones-308249_640the rainwater flows into the City’s sewer system, and then out into the streams, harbor, and Chesapeake Bay. It’s an issue, and it’s why the City has its Sanitary Sewer Consent Decree with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Baltimore City Public Works has announced that this month was particularly bad:

July has been a month of historically heavy rainfall in Baltimore, and more is in the forecast this week.  These rains have resulted in large amounts of rainwater entering the City’s sewer mains, causing overflows into streams and the harbor.  Much of this was released through structured overflows, designed as part of Baltimore’s sewer system more than 100 years ago.  The city is in the process of eliminating these.

The updated overflow totals of stormwater mixed with sewer water due to rain stands at 45 million gallons for the period of Saturday, July 21, through Wednesday, July 25.  Data for subsequent dates will be provided when available. …

The public is reminded to avoid contact with urban waterways due to the risk of pollution. For information about health concerns as a result of sewer overflows please go to

Read The Sun’s coverage here.

Learn about how Baltimore got to this point from Cooper Moores, LLC’s Dana Cooper, formerly Baltimore City Department of Public Works’ General Counsel and Modified Consent Decree negotiator, at this year’s MACo Summer Conference, “Water, Water Everywhere,” at the session, Like a Bridge Over Troubled Water: Know Your Water Law.

The MACo Summer Conference will be held August 15-18, 2018 at the Rowland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland. This year the conference’s theme is “Water, Water Everywhere.”

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference: