10 million gallons of wastewater overflowed into city waters during torrential rains

BALTIMORE - Due to last weekend's soaking rains, more than 10 million gallons of wastewater mixed with stormwater and overflowed into the Jones Falls River, Baltimore Department of Public Works officials confirmed Wednesday. 

Beginning Sunday, structured overflows occurred at at six locations, with the largest discharges happening at 1901 Falls Road and 428 E. Preston St. Overflows also took place at 310 Liberty Heights Ave., West Cold Spring Lane and Ayrdale Avenue, North Charles Street and West Lanvale Street, and Charing Cross Road and Greenwich Avenue. Though not structurally built into the system, overflows also occurred at Gelston Drive and Linnard Street, and 1800 E. Eager Street. The overflows at Charing Cross, Gelston Drive and Liberty Heights flowed into the Gywnns Falls River. 

The overwhelming rainfall caused additional smaller overflows as well.

The overflows are designed into the city's more than 100-year-old sewer system to provide releases when the sewer is inundated with rain. They are slowly being phased out as the city complies with a consent decree. The Baltimore City Health Department and the Maryland Department of the Environment notify the community of releases and remind the public to avoid contact with urban waterways like the Jones and Gywnns Falls Rivers due to the risk of pollution. 

The sewer system overflows may also cause sewage backups in city residents' basements. Residents who may have experienced a backup can apply for cleanup cost reimbursement through the city's Expedited Reimbursement Program.

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