Happy Birthday Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant

The Golden Eggs - Baltimore's Anaerobic Digesters (photo by Mark Jonas, flickr.com)

Infamous Essex landmark celebrates 100 years of operation in 2011

by Keith Roberts, Essex Patch, 1/1/2011

A little more than a year ago the town of Essex celebrated its 100th anniversary. In 2011, an icon that is closely associated with Essex celebrates its 100th anniversary. In this instance however, I don’t think that we will see any parties in the park. I can’t foresee any local talent lining up to perform their music. Nor can I picture local businesses and artisans selling their products at a festival

Although construction began several years earlier, the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant began full operation in 1911. Owned and operated by the City of Baltimore, the treatment facility was built on a 466 acre site on the west shore of Back River. A gentleman by the name of Calvin W. Hendricks, a New York native, was hired as the first chief engineer of the plant.

I can recall reading somewhere a long time ago that it was a mere two years after the plant began operation that the very first lawsuit was filed against the facility as a result of the noxious odor it produced. Thus began an eternal conflict between local residents, the plant and City of Baltimore which has caused the expenditure of millions and millions of federal, state and local dollars over the years on upgrades and improvements.

Continue reading “Happy Birthday Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant” at Essex Patch.

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