Water Issues and Bills
Baltimore City is responsible for the water service in Baltimore County. There are a number of different issues related to the water service that are handled by Baltimore City, and some that are handled by Baltimore County. View additional information on water issues.
For non-emergency requests, use the form below.
Call 410-887-7428 for:
Call 410-887-7415 for:
Call 410-887-5348 for:
Responsibilities and Divisions
Provides the labor and materials required to repair sewer pipelines, all portions of the storm drain system which are below ground and support Baltimore City water main repairs. Some of its specific responsibilities are:
- Repairing sanitary sewer and storm drain manhole covers
- Repairing broken sewer lines and force (pressure) mains
- Protecting existing pipelines exposed by storm-related flooding
- Rebuilding broken storm drain inlet boxes
- Repairing broken and defective storm drain lines
- Maintaining several frost-proof hydrants which are used to provide potable (drinkable) water to residents whose wells are contaminated or unusable
- Installing and maintaining steel road plates
- Cleaning and restoring areas disturbed by water main repairs
- Snow removal on specified snow routes
In the event of a true sewer emergency, please call our Emergency Sewer Service line at 410-887-7415.
- Primary responsibility as the delegated authority by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) through the Maryland Department of Environment (MDE), is to manage and effectively enforce the Wastewater Monitoring and Analysis Program through permitting, monitoring and analysis of wastewater from industrial and commercial customers.
The Pipeline Maintenance Division is made up of three units with specific duties.
Emergency Sewer Service Unit
- Seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.
- Relieves sewer house connection stoppages in the public portion of the lateral pipe through a visible clean-out provided on the property.
- Mops basements in the event of a sewer main overflow.
- Attempts to locate clean-outs on the property.
- Opens mainline stoppages at night.
- Marks 6 inch and greater diameter force main pipes for Miss Utility.
- Investigates complaints.
- Provides immediate response to dangerous or potentially dangerous conditions and will make the situation safe until corrective action can be taken.
- Seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Inspect sanitary sewer mains, house lateral connections and storm drains via closed circuit television.
- Perform inspections to determine if there are any breaks or discrepancies in county utilities.
- Clean and remove debris from sanitary sewer and storm drains.
- Responsible for opening and cleaning mainline stoppages during the day.
- Manages Fats, Oil, and Grease (FOG) program.
- Assist Fire Department with emergency rescue (cave-ins).
Inflow and Inspection Unit
- Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Performs inspections for newly constructed sewer and storm drains.
- Dye tests sinkholes to determine if they are related to county utilities.
- Investigate various complaints concerning sewer and storm drain systems.
- Perform minor repairs on storm drain and sewer systems.
- Sets up and reads metering equipment to calculate flow for Inflow and Infiltration studies.
- Smoke test areas in search of signs for Inflow and Infiltration.
- Responsible for the operation and maintenance of 224 pumps located at 107 sewage pumping stations, one community sewage treatment plant, three treatment and water distribution systems, and approximately 2,000 grinder pump stations.
Baltimore County's sewage collection system successfully handles approximately one billion gallons per year through its network of 3,000 miles of pipeline, 116 pumping stations and 60,000 manholes. The average age of the system is approximately 45 years. Over 99 percent of the wastewater handled by the system is pumped safely to wastewater treatment plants without incident.
Roots, debris and grease build-ups are the most frequent causes of pipeline blockages and overflows – and for over 70 percent of manhole overflows. The remainder are by a variety of causes such as structural pipe failure, vandalism and inflow and infiltration during heavy rainfall.
We Need Your Help
The following guidelines prevent sewage system damage:
- Never pour grease down sink drains or into toilets.
- Pour oils and greases (including salad oils, and bacon fat) into a container such as an old milk carton or other empty non-recyclable container and dispose in the trash. You can also use coffee grounds or kitty litter to absorb the oil.
- Do not put grease down garbage disposals. Put baskets or strainers in sink drains to catch food scraps and other solids and empty them into the trash.
- Dry wipe and scrape grease and food scraps from trays, plates, pots, pans, utensils and grills and cooking surfaces into a can or the trash
Prevention and Repair Methods
- Bureau of Utilities crews work around the clock, every day, to monitor, inspect, and perform routine maintenance on sewer system components. The average response time for main line sewer blockages is 28 minutes.
- A new computerized alarm and monitoring system has been installed that provides faster, more detailed and more accurate information on sewage system operations. This $1.5 million monitoring system will monitor sewage flow, flow failures and alarms.
- An average of $45 to $50 million is invested every year in strategically planned capital improvements to the sewage system; $240,291,000 is currently allocated in the five-year budget. These funds will enable the County to enhance the reliability of the sewer conveyance system and minimize overflow events through rehabilitation and replacement of pipelines, and retrofitting and upgrading pumping stations' with new technologies to enhance pipeline and pumping station operations.
- Baltimore County's Plumbing Code requires grease interceptors in restaurants.
- The Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) program educates the public.