Baltimore's overflowing sewers in action

Baltimore Harbor Waterkeeper captures scenes from Aug. 12 downpour on video

August 22, 2014|Tim Wheeler

Ever wonder what a sewer "overflow" looks like?  This video by the Baltimore Harbor Waterkeeper shows what happened in multiple places in Baltimore during the near-record downpour of Aug. 12, when six inches of rain fell in a 12-hour time span.

That's diluted but raw, untreated sewage spewing out of manhole covers and spraying pedestrians as vehicles pass through it.  The Baltimore city Department of Public Works reported more than 3 million gallons of sewage overflowed from the Patapsco River wastewater treatment plant and in the 1900 block of Falls Road. But its account didn't mention sewage bubbling up on East Chase, North Durham or East Eager streets.

UPDATE: Late Friday afternoon, the city Department of Public Works reported "subequent gathered information, along with data analysis" showed that more than 9 million gallons was lost from another three locations: Eager Street at Durham Street in East Baltimore; the 1700 block of E. Chase St., and 2100 block of Wicomico Street in Southwest Baltimore. See story here

The city has been under a federal consent order since 2002 to curtail sewage overflows. Municipal officials estimate they're spending $1 billion to comply by repairing and upgrading its leaky sewer system.

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