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Baltimore City testing drinking water in Essex after reports of gasoline-like odor coming from faucets

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Posted at 5:22 PM, Aug 06, 2020

ESSEX, Md. — Baltimore City's Department of Public Works continues to investigate more than a dozen reports of residents smelling a gasoline-like-odor coming from the faucets and shower heads.

On Thursday department supervisors along with a water quality analyst visited homes impacted by the smell, including Tammy York's home on Fairway Road.

"I'm glad someone came out to investigate," said York. "Want to make sure that it’s not something dangerous. I haven’t been drinking it but I did it the other day when I wasn’t aware that it was an issue so I’m absolutely just curious as to how dangerous it is."

It's unclear what the cause behind the odor is but caused enough concern for people to using water for their everyday use.

"I'm not taking showers right now," laughed Don Twine. "I’m hoping I don’t smell too much right now!"

Twine lives on Capri Village Circle. He said he first noticed the odor while he was taking a shower.

"My best way to to describe the smell is that it smells like a dirty mechanic’s garage," he said.

Twine was also doing laundry at the time. He said once the situation is cleared he'll have to rewash everything, including the dishes piling up.

"We're working to get this issue fixed," said Sussex Community Association President Leah Biddinger. "We started hearing reports of this late Monday and by Tuesday I realized we had what was presenting to be a serious issue."

Biddinger said she's been busy making phone calls and getting the attention of DPW officials.

"I'm glad they're out here today," she said. "It doesn't solve the problem but it brings us closer to knowing what exactly is in the water and if it's safe or not."

A spokesperson said over the phone that the testing for the water samples collected will be expedited. If you are concerned about the quality of your water, you are encouraged not to drink it or use it for cleaning or showering purposes. Instead, it is recommended you drink or use bottled water.