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Harbor pollution
Debris swept by a rainstorm litters the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, July 20, 2012. (The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz)

Baltimore Inner Harbor water quality failing, report says

At least the Inner Harbor looks pretty.

The Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore released its Healthy Harbor Report Card 2015 on Tuesday, and the water quality received failing grades.

“Overall water health in Baltimore waterway continues to be very poor with the primary cause being fecal bacteria, nitrogen pollution, low water clarity and high conductivity in streams,” according to the report.

The finding are a major setback for the harbor, which city officials, in 2011, said they wanted to be swimmable by 2020.

One of the biggest obstacles to improving water quality, according to the report, is a 10-mile human sewage backup beneath East Baltimore.

As a result of sitting sewage, caused by a misaligned pipe carrying waste water to the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant, 335 million gallons of sewage overflowed into the Jones Falls last year.

But until that issue and others are corrected the water quality in the Inner Harbor is expected to remain poor.

Despite residents’ inability to actively enjoy the water, it hasn’t slowed development interest along Baltimore’s waterfront.

Projects such as Harbor Point and the proposed Port Covington redevelopment, show there’s still demand in the city for waterfront property, even if you’re better off not getting in.

About Adam Bednar

Adam Bednar covers real estate and development for The Daily Record.

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