Maryland Upgrading 66 Wastewater Plants To Protect Chesapeake Bay
Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., and Maryland’s Secretary of the Environment Kendl Philbrick broke ground last month on an upgrade for the Chestertown Wastewater Treatment Plant. State officials plan to upgrade all 66 major wastewater treatment plants across the state.
A $1.5 million Bay Restoration Fund grant made the groundbreaking possible. The funding will cover removal of nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater treatment plant effluent to state-of-the-art levels.
In addition, a loan in excess of $3.6 million to the town from the state revolving fund and a $3 million grant for biological nutrient removal, both administered by the Maryland Department of the Environment, with other state and federal grants, will finance the project.
“By 2007, construction will be underway at nearly half the major plants in the state, and one after the other, they will facilitate drastically lower nutrient levels,” said Philbrick. “Additional nutrient removal in Chestertown is essential for Maryland to meet its commitments under the Chesapeake 2000 Agreement.”
The $9.18 million plant will include enhanced nutrient removal and biological nutrient removal technology that reduces the level of nitrogen and phosphorus discharged directly to the Chester River that flows to the Chesapeake Bay.
The upgrade project involves the planning, design, construction and installation of full-scale Enhanced Nutrient Removal equipment to achieve total nitrogen removal to a yearly average of 3 to 4 milligrams per liter, an 83 percent reduction, and phosphorus to 0.3 milligrams per liter, a 90 percent reduction over current levels.
Excess nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorus, lead to degraded water quality, which negatively impact the ecology of the Bay and its tributaries. The plant that processes 900,000 gallons of effluent per day serves more than 4,200 people.
Work on the new facility will begin in March and the upgraded components are expected to be fully operational by the summer of 2007. Once all upgrades are complete, the impact will be a 7.5 million pound annual reduction in nitrogen and a 260,000 pound annual reduction in phosphorus.
Provided by the Environmental News Service.