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Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant (180 MGD) Sparrows Point Discharge Evaluations. Baltimore, Maryland.

Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant is permitted to discharge 180 million gallons per day (MGD) between Back River (130 MGD) and Patapsco River at Sparrows Point (50 MGD).

Historically the flow to Sparrows Point was used as industrial water for the steel making facilities (formerly Bethlehem Steel) and discharged to the Patapsco River. The steel plant has shut down; however, for Back River WWTP to meet its permit, effluent must still discharge at Sparrows Point. The City and WRA have had discussions with the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) to evaluate the water quality impact of a possible increase in the effluent discharge to Back River, which would reduce or possibly eliminate the need to discharge effluent to Sparrows Point. Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) is updating the existing water quality (WQ) model for Back River to evaluate various flow scenarios for discharges to Back River and Patapsco. WRA is providing oversight for the re-evaluation of the WQ model for Back River.

Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant (180 MGD) Sparrows Point Discharge Evaluations
Project Highlights

Master Planning and Modeling

Based on water quality and sediment data and model updates performed by VIMS, WRA will develop alternative discharge options for Back River and Sparrows Point, including facility requirements, implementation plan and cost estimates, evaluate the alternatives and recommend a plan.