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How Baltimore's Clean Harbor Mandate Filled People's Homes With Sewage

Poorly planned and weakly enforced infrastructure repairs have created a vicious cycle.
Treated waste at the Back River Waste Water Treatment in Baltimore, Maryland.
Treated waste at the Back River Waste Water Treatment in Baltimore, Maryland.Flickr/Kristian Bjonard

On three back-to-back mornings last week, Angela Valdez walked down to the basement bathroom of her Baltimore row house and found it filled with poop.

Her toilet had been backed up with wastewater on and off since heavy rains in late April. Now, after weeks of attempts to get public works to clear a massive blockage in a city sewer line, she was facing standing sewage in her toilet and tub.