Speak out on sewage! Annual Public Meeting

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 - 6:00pm
Maryland Department of the Environment
1800 Washington Blvd
Baltimore, MD 21230

Have you experienced sewage backing up into your home? Are you concerned about water quality in your local streams and the Inner Harbor? Every year, Baltimore City is required to hold a public meeting about its progress on repairing our sewer system. Join us on January 23rd to learn about the progress so far, what is planned for the future, and to have an opportunity to make your voice heard for clean waterways and healthy homes.

Two years ago, Baltimore City signed a new Consent Decree, the agreement among the city and state and federal regulators that governs how the city must address sewage overflows. This modified consent decree, written after the city did not meet the original 2016 deadline for repairs to be completed, commits the city to making major infrastructure repairs to the Back River Wastewater Treatment Facility by 2021 and eliminating remaining sources of sewage overflows by 2030.

But sewage overflows into our streets and streams aren't the only problem stemming from our sewage infrastructure. Basement back-ups of sewage are a significant public health threat, exposing people to dangerous fecal bacteria and irreversibly damaging people's property. And they're a problem that has grown in the past decade: the number of basement backups in Baltimore rose from from 622 in 2004 to nearly 5,000 in 2015, according to an investigation by the Baltimore Sun. Repairs aimed at stopping overflows of sewage into waterways have contributed to sewage overflows in homes - "because," according to DPW officials as reported in WYPR, "the sewage has to go somewhere."