Press Release

ANNAPOLIS, MD (May 21, 2008) – The Maryland Board of Public Works today approved over $500,000 in grants for capital construction projects to improve water quality and water supply. The Board is comprised of Governor Martin O’Malley, Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot.

"Providing better sources for water supply and maintaining aging infrastructure are critical to public health and water resources protection.” said Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Shari T. Wilson. “These projects are basic yet crucial."

Mt. Aetna New Water Source (Washington County)

The Board approved a $215,000 grant for planning, design, and construction of a new water source with all the appurtenances for the Mt. Aetna drinking water system that serves 192 homes. The current water sources serving the Mt. Aetna water system have decreased in production to a level that requires water to be purchased and transported in from other water systems during dry seasons. The new source (well) will ensure a safe, cost efficient, and ample supply of potable water to the entire service area.

Town of Emmitsburg Sewer Rehabilitation (Frederick County)

The Board approved a $300,000 grant to construct improvements to its existing sewage collection system to prevent sewer overflows, reduce inflow/infiltration, and correct other deficiencies. This work includes, in part, replacement or repair of existing infrastructure both along Lincoln Avenue and along other parts of the service area.

Inflow/infiltration not only contributes to the occurrence of sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) but can lead to raw sewage bypasses at wastewater treatment plans and increase operational costs for pumping stations and wastewater treatment plants. SSOs contain untreated domestic, commercial, and industrial wastes, as well as surface runoff. Many different contaminants can be present and may include pathogens, oxygen-demanding pollutants, suspended solids, nutrients, toxics, and floatable matter. Because of these contaminants, SSOs can cause a variety of adverse impacts on the physical characteristics of surface water, impair the viability of aquatic habitats, and pose a potential threat to drinking water supplies. Moreover, SSOs add to the nutrient load of the Chesapeake Bay. By improving the sewage collection system, the Town of Emmitsburg is taking a significant step to reduce pollution into the Upper Monocacy River and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay.