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 in the Water

Mar 28, 2022

Baltimore area homeowners have been paying higher and higher water bills that also pay for sewerage treatment. Yet the two main sewage treatment plants have been failing for many months to properly treat sewage.

A recent state inspection of the biggest treatment plant found that it was discharging millions of gallons of only partially treated sewerage every day into a river leading to swimming areas in the Chesapeake Bay. Problems were found throughout the plant, including in the primary settling tanks, denitrification filters, secondary clarifiers, and biological reactors.

These problems aren’t new. Months ago, the state filed a lawsuit against the Baltimore Department of Public Works for violating permit limits on the amount of polluted water the treatment plants discharge. Yet the recent inspection of the biggest plant revealed that the situation is now even worse that earlier.

So, on March 24, the Maryland Department of the Environment issued an order that the plant must be brought into compliance with its permits within just 48 hours!

This order sounds like a mission impossible since it appears that there has been a shortage of operating workers at the plant needed to carry out maintenance and repairs.

The order also sounds hypocritical since the Department of the Environment has been under attack itself for not having enough inspectors. Otherwise, why did it take so long before the latest inspection took place, when it was known for months that there were problems with the operation of these treatment plants?