On Thursday May 1st our group visited Baltimore’s Water and Sanitation plant. It was a very educational experience. Most people probably never think about what happens to their water after they flush the toilet or wash their dishes, so it was pretty humbling to see what goes into treating that water so it can be safely returned to the Harbor.
On an average day, the Patapsco Wastewater Treatment Plant in Baltimore receives 63 million gallons of water from 184 square miles with an estimate population of 450,000 people (Baltimore County, Ann Arundel County, and Howard County). However, the day we visited was following a huge rain storm and the plant was dealing with over 300 million gallons of sewage and storm water! We saw how the water goes through multiple levels of treatment. The facility is a secondary level treatment plant with enhanced nutrient removal, chlorination, and de-chlorination. They employ 180 people who are highly trained in water treatment. The goal of the plant is to remove the pollutants of the wastewater and return it to the environment with detrimental effects to the aquatic life of the Patapsco River and Chesapeake Bay.