Following a period of heavy rain over the weekend, a sanitary sewer overflow took place releasing 25,819 gallons of sewage-saturated water into the Jones Falls, the Baltimore Department of Public Works reports.
The Saturday (July 1) release occurred at 4:15 p.m. at an underground “structured overflow” at the intersection of Charles and Lanvale streets, according to DPW.
The city has been under a federal consent decree to end the use of these overflow pipes, built into the city’s sewer system to relieve pressure during times of heavy rain.
They prevent sewage from backing up into city basements but also result in the release of millions of gallons of raw sewage into city waterways every year.
A single heavy rainstorm in May, for example, resulted in more than 3 million gallons of sewage flowing into the Jones Falls from this outfall and two others – the 400 block of East Preston Street (underground) and the 1900 block of Falls Road (above ground).