Baltimore City Took 8 Days to Repair a Gwynns Falls Sewage Leak

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Gwynns Falls (
Gwynns Falls (

Sewage leaks in Baltimore often come with gallon measurements that have a lot of zeroes attached, and a recent case was no exception. According to a press release from the city issued Thursday, raw sewage leaked into a stream near Gwynns Falls for eight days earlier this fall.

The leak, which began Sept. 24 after a falling tree hit an exposed sewer pipe in a wooded area north of Edmonson Avenue, ended up sending 17,553 gallons of raw sewage into Gwynns Falls. The leak started small, but increased to two gallons of sewage per minute when the tree was pulled off the pipe.

According to the release, Baltimore City’s Department of Public Works tried to plug the leak immediately after removing the tree, but that didn’t stanch the flow. The leak was finally repaired on Oct. 2.

Going against regulations, city officials notified the state only after the leak was fixed. According to the Baltimore Sun, state law requires local entities to inform them of a leak within 24 hours of discovery. Meanwhile, the press release to the public wasn’t sent out until Thursday, which is two weeks after the hole’s discovery.

Needless to say, people aren’t encouraged to go in Gwynns Falls for now. On the positive side, however, the wastewater could soon bring a nice fall crop of tomatoes.


Stephen Babcock

Stephen Babcock is the editor of Baltimore and an editor-at-large of Baltimore Fishbowl.

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