Wednesday night’s flooding in Fells Point and yesterday’s continued closure of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway were perhaps the most visible signs of the two inches of rainfall in the area earlier this week. But there was even nastier water moving underfoot.
According to the Baltimore’s Public Works department, more than five million gallons of wastewater went into the Jones Falls at two overflow points. The biggest dump was at 428 E. Preston St., where 5.3 million gallons of wastewater was discharged. Another overflow spot at 1901 Falls Rd. discharged 84,000 gallons of wastewater. The Jones Falls eventually dumps into the Harbor.
Baltimore city officials say they are in the midst of phasing out these overflow points with improvements at the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant. The city is under consent decree from the U.S. government to fix the sewer system.
There were also two sewer overflows reported in the storm. One overflow in the 1700 block of E. Chase St. sent 114,000 gallons of wastewater into the harbor. A power outage at Patapsco Wastewater Treatment Facility in Wagner’s Point also sent 50,000 gallons of wastewater into the harbor. The Chase St. site and wastewater treatment plant were the site of similar overflows last year.
UPDATE (4:25 p.m.) Actually, it was 12 Million Gallons
DPW provided another update this afternoon. As it turns out, even the 5 million gallons reported in the Jones Falls were far short. The 428 E. Preston St. site mentioned about actually released 9.3 million gallons of wastewater, while the 1901 Falls Rd. site dumped about 3.1 million gallons. The city did not provide a reason why the totals changed so dramatically over the course of the day, only saying that data estimates have been “updated.”
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