Cambridge taking strides to replace sewer lines with help of federal dollars

CAMBRIDGE, Md. – A top priority in Cambridge is replacing their sewer lines, especially because we’re told water samples they’ve collected in the past at local beaches haven’t always met the standards. So, with some federal dollars their hoping to dive all in and create some change.

“Over the years of testing, what we’ve learned at least here along the beaches along Cambridge is that the test results fail to meet the water quality standard for swimming abut 50% of the time,” Matt Pluta, Director of ShoreRivers Choptank RiverKeeper, said.

Because of issues like this, leaders locally and federally said there’s no better time to make sure communities have access to clean water. We’re told another battle they’re addressing is a regular occurrence of sewer overflows.

“With these older sewer lines, we are getting an extreme amount of water in-flowing, infiltrating into the sewers which are causing the overflows,” George Hyde, city engineer, said. “So, we gotta replace the sewer lines and replace these overflows from occurring.”

“It’s not good for the quality of the bay itself, it presents a public health risk as well as can defeat our efforts to clean up the bay, for preserving our oysters, and dealing with aquatic life,” U.S. Senator Ben Cardin said.

To tackle these issues, the city is getting more than a half-million federal dollars. Sen. Cardin explained in a press conference Tuesday these funds will go towards a project in a lower- income neighborhood in the city’s Historic West End.

“The federal government has now increased dramatically its partnership under the bipartisan infrastructure program, and I used what’s known as a congressional earmark to put another half a million dollars into this highest priority for Cambridge on a sewer line replacement,” Sen. Cardin said.

Local leaders we spoke with said while the money is a step in the right direction there’s still more work to be done.

“The more that we can do on our lands to address these known pollution sources it’s going to have a compounding effect on how we are able to enjoy these waterways through recreation, through fishing, through boating, you name it,” Pluta said.

Categories: Local News, Maryland