Baltimore Water Infrastructure needs Investment, 20-Year Survey Finds

Baltimore is hemorrhaging water and the antiquated pipes need replacing. Don’t take our word for it, take the word of U.S. Geological Survey, the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and Blue Water Baltimore, who for the past 20 years have been studying the water in the Gwynns Falls watershed. Every possible variable was researched – pollution, rainfall, and the sewage system.

The result of 20 years of research? Preventing the rain from entering the storm drains – good, current water infrastructure – bad. Not big news to the residents of Baltimore who have become used to regular flooding, especially in times of high precipitation.

In fact, increased rainfall was measured and blamed, albeit partly, for the poor state of Baltimore water infrastructure.

Alice Volpitta, water quality manager for Blue Water Baltimore, said: “We’ve known a long time, sewage bad, stormwater projects good. This is the first time with statistical accuracy we can say sewage is really detrimental to water quality.”

“It is deeply concerned about stronger storms and greater rainfall, which over the years have been exacerbating pollution from stormwater runoff and putting more pressure on our sewage pipes and best management practices,” she added.

“We’re facing a changing climate, ” said Volpitta “It makes the investment all the more important now. It’s going to get more costly as time goes on. The problem isn’t going to go away all on its own.”

Even the best water softeners can’t help the problems facing Baltimore residents, who often complain of the quality of the water. But it is not just the residents complaining about the quality of the watr

Astonishingly, following Monday’s rainstorms, an estimated 4.1 million gallons of sewage flowed into the Inner Harbor, according to the Department of Public Works who had previously reported over 8 million gallons of overflowed sewage so far this year until Monday.

Although overflows have been on the decline for five successive years, the sewage overflows led to increased phosphorus, nitrate, phosphate, chloride, sulphate, nitrogen, ammonia and bacteria in the water supply.

Heavy rains cause regular flooding to downtown Annapolis. According to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and ePub Zone, Annapolis suffered average 39.3 floods a year between 2007 and 2013, a 925-percent increase from the 3.8 average floods a year between 1957 and 1963.

A flood mitigation system is scheduled to begin being built in March 2019 with hopes for a completion date of June 2020. The project, costing $6.5 million, is to include a pump station housing controls for the underground water system.

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Melissa Thompson

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.