Fix city sewage, not septics
Gov. Larry Hogan’s proposal to relax “best available technology” regulations on septic systems to just those in critical areas instead of all septic systems is a good one (“The septic backslide,” Aug. 23). A good argument can be made that they work better, but does requiring them in areas that are not critical make Chesapeake Bay waters any cleaner? I think not, especially when you look at the big picture of sources of wastewater pollution.
Consider, for example, the recent news about 10,000 gallons of raw sewage leaking into the Inner Harbor and 21,000 gallons leaking into the Jones Falls (“More than 20,000 gallons of raw sewage released into Baltimore waterways over weekend,” Aug. 22). These leaks occur frequently from the city sewer system and in some spots the system has designed-in overflows during periods of heavy rain. If you track the reported raw sewage leaks in The Sun over a year, it adds up to hundreds of thousands of gallons or more into streams and harbor. Fixes to this problem have been repeatedly delayed and with timelines years away.
We all want to protect and improve our water quality. Let’s put our priority and focus on fixing this source of pollution that is having a huge direct impact of the quality of the Chesapeake Bay and get it done.