Our board members come from all backgrounds and walks of life, but they share a passion for preserving and restoring the health of our waterways. New board member Jack Boyson first worked with us a few years ago on a sewage overflow problem near Stony Run, and was willing to share the story.
By Jack Boyson, Blue Water Baltimore board member
As the former President of the Wyman Park Community Association (WPCA), I first reached out to Blue Water Baltimore for assistance back in 2019. There were two major sewage overflows from the main Roland Park/Stony Run sewage trunk line into the upper pond area above Stony Run in March and December. Each time, thousands of gallons of raw sewage were dumped into the upper pond, blocking the trail, and cascading down the hillside to the lower pond into Stony Run.
On both occasions, I contacted the Department of Public Works (DPW) through 311, but there were delays in fixing the overflow problems in a timely manner, especially during the early December overflow which took over a month to repair resulting in multiple spills because of pump bypass failures.
Early on on both occasions, I reported the spills to Blue Water Baltimore. Subsequently, Alice Volpitta, Baltimore Harbor Water Keeper, and Barbara Johnson, Senior Manager for Community Advocacy, responded right away to help me navigate the DPW bureaucracy to stop the sewage overflows as expeditiously as possible.
As the President of the WPCA, Blue Water Baltimore helped me by contacting both DPW leadership and field staff directly regarding the urgency of stopping the sewage overflows in a timely manner; advise me on what options could be taken to remediate the overflows; and assisted in monitoring progress in repairing the sewer line.
At the time, I thought it would be great to volunteer with Blue Water Baltimore. Last December I received an invitation to serve on the Board of Directors and I readily accepted, starting in January 2024. Already this year I have worked in close coordination with Blue Water Baltimore staff to remediate subsequent sewage spills into Stony Run in keeping with its clean water mandate.