A Statement on the Drinking Water Crisis in West Baltimore

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From Tony Bridges, Executive Director of Blue Water Baltimore:

The drinking water crisis in West Baltimore is a stark reminder of the systemic problems with Baltimore’s water infrastructure—a problem built over decades that presents an ongoing threat to the health of our neighbors and waterways. The mishandling of the communication from Baltimore City to the community regarding the E. Coli contamination is very problematic.

City employees were apparently informed immediately when the water tested positive for E.Coli on Sunday, but that information was not provided to potentially impacted residents until a series of tweets early on Labor Day. Then, residents of the affected areas, and all residents of Baltimore and surrounding communities were left wondering what was happening for another 9 hours with no additional information provided about how to keep themselves and their neighbors safe amidst this ongoing public health emergency. The information that did eventually reach residents was confusing and long overdue.

The City needs to account for the unjust delays in issuing a public alert and make transparency a part of their plan going forward.

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