The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Sewage Where Children Play

Oct 3, 2016

Sewage has leaked into the Chinquapin stream, running through a residential area of northeast Baltimore.

The Department of Public Works not only knew, but an official admitted it would likely be three more years before the Department got around to repairing that old water main.

Yet children play in that stream every day. This summer, the Department of Parks and Recreation even had a picnic there for children.

No one in Baltimore believes this leakage is a new problem. For at least 14 years Baltimore has been hearing about fixing the water and sewage pipes, and drivers have been dodging repair crews.

All these repairs were given as the reason for TRIPLING water and sewer bills to Baltimore home owners and businesses. Yet after every rain storm, it turns out sewage is still leaking into the waterways.

It seems that maintenance had not been kept up for years, even decades, on water pipes and sewers. It became such an embarrassment that the federal government came in pretending to do something. The consent decree signed way back in 2002 gave the city 14 years to complete the work. Then when the city didn’t finish, this year, it was given another six years–in which to finish the work without paying more fines.

But when the Department of Public Works went to begin this work, it turned out no one had a clue where the lines were. Records had been lost or were never created in the first place. That means, maintenance was not being done for decades.

The current lack of progress might never have been known if an environmental group hadn’t joined a lawsuit against the city. Bluewater Baltimore showed what had not been done on the pipes and how many discharges of pollution were not even recorded.

But despite consent decrees, despite all kinds of lawsuits, the public services needed–whether water treatment, sewers, roads, tunnels, bridges or schools–always end up short of funds. The very services we pay for are not provided.

If there were any justification for government, it would surely be the carrying out of such obvious services. But these are just what Baltimore, and other jurisdictions, fail to provide.

Every one of them–those politicians who pretend to represent the population–need to be pushed aside, replaced by the population deciding for itself how to use all the resources of society.