Program Description: Baltimore City operates a sanitary sewage collection system that utilizes more than 3,000 miles of sewer lines and 110 pumping stations to transport sewage to wastewater treatment plants operated by the City of Baltimore.
In 1997, EPA and MDE sued the City of Baltimore as a result of repeated sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) of tens of millions of gallons of raw sewage from the City’s system into area waterways. These overflows are the result of an aging and poorly maintained sewage system. Although cutting edge when it was installed in 1909, Baltimore’s sewer pipes are cracked, clogged, and undersized for today’s needs. As a result of the lawsuit, the parties entered into a Consent Decree (or settlement) in April 2002 to address the overflows.
The settlement requires Baltimore City to implement corrective measures to address both past and potential future causes of sewage overflows. The City is starting to correct problems in the main stem of the system, but there have been major leaks in the lateral lines as well. WATERKEEPER has been working closely to ensure that the Consent Decree is being implemented properly and that all ongoing and future sewage spills are reported properly to EPA and MDE, as well as to the public.
Program Goal: The goal of this Campaign is to abate sewage spills to our waterways from Baltimore City. Future campaign goals are to address SSOs in Baltimore County and Anne Arundel County.