Sewage Overflows in Pennsylvania’s Capital

Sewage overflows from Pennsylvania’s capital have only increased since a 2015 consent decree meant to address the problem, with the amount of human waste mixed with stormwater released to the Susquehanna River growing from 789 million gallons in 2016 to nearly 1.4 billion in 2018, water authority records show.

These chronic discharges of sewage from Harrisburg’s antiquated, combined sewer and stormwater system are having an impact on local water quality, with monitoring along the city’s waterfront in the summer of 2019 finding levels of E. coli bacteria averaging nearly three times levels safe for swimming or water-contact recreation, according to this report by the Environmental Integrity Project.