© 2023 WYPR
20th Anniversary Background
WYPR 88.1 FM Baltimore WYPF 88.1 FM Frederick WYPO 106.9 FM Ocean City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Baltimore City and County want a fresh look at shared water system

BaltimoreCountyWaterStudyMattBush (3).jpg
Matt Bush
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski speaks at a press conference Tuesday, January 31, 2023 in Annapolis, Maryland as Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott (to his right) looks on.

Editor's Note: Please click on the audio of this story to hear what Democratic state Sen. Charles Sydnor of Baltimore County has to say about the plan.

The water and wastewater system the city of Baltimore shares with Baltimore County has seen some high profile problems in recent years. Baltimore County leaders on Tuesday reinforced their desire to keep using the system. But they are calling on the General Assembly to create a task force that will examine it regionally.

The current agreement that covers the city of Baltimore’s water and wastewater systems being used by Baltimore County dates back to 1972.

Since then, the city has seen a population drop about the same size as Baltimore County has seen a population gain.

That change plus wear and tear on the system has led to some high profile failures in recent years.

The most recent occurred last September, E. coli bacteria was detected in water prompting a five day boil water advisory in West Baltimore and parts of neighboring Baltimore County.

The soon to be introduced bill creates the task force and gives it a deadline of January 2024 to produce recommendations on upgrades and governance of the systems shared by more than 1.4 million residents.

While pushing for changes, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski told reporters Tuesday in Annapolis he is not seeking to have the county break away from using the city’s system.

Matt Bush spent 14 years in public radio prior to coming to WYPR as news director in October 2022. From 2008 to 2016, he worked at Washington D.C.’s NPR affiliate, WAMU, where he was the station’s Maryland reporter. He covered the Maryland General Assembly for six years (alongside several WYPR reporters in the statehouse radio bullpen) as well as both Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. @MattBushMD
Related Content