Federalsburg, Maryland (June 16, 2008) – Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) Secretary Shari T. Wilson, Senator Richard F. Colburn and others marked another success in Governor Martin O’Malley’s environmental agenda today by breaking ground for the construction to upgrade the Federalsburg Wastewater Treatment Plant.
“MDE is please to provide funding through the Bay Restoration Program to upgrade the Federalsburg Wastewater Treatment Plant,” said MDE Secretary Shari T. Wilson. “This upgrade will make a significant contribution to reducing pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.”
The $9.8 million project involves upgrading the 0.75 million gallons per day (mgd) Federalsburg Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) with Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) and Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) technology. Excess nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, lead to degraded water quality, negatively impact the ecology of the Bay and its tributaries, such as the Marshyhope River. The ENR upgrade will reduce the loading (lbs/year) of nitrogen by 83%, to a concentration of 3 mg/l, and reduce the loading of phosphorous by 85%, to a concentration of .3 mg/l.
Nutrient removal at the Federalsburg WWTP is essential for the success of Maryland’s effort to achieve a 40% reduction in the amount of nutrients discharged to the Chesapeake Bay and to meet its commitments under the Chesapeake Bay 2000 Agreement. The expansion of the treatment plant is consistent with the local Comprehensive Plan and the approved Water & Sewerage Plan for the local jurisdiction, and has received growth consistency approval from the Maryland Department of Planning.
“This project is important to the city of Federalsburg by helping protect one of our greatest assets, the Chesapeake Bay,” said Senator Richard Colburn. “We applaud the efforts that both the Maryland Department of the Environment and Governor O’Malley have made to upgrade all the state’s wastewater plants and improve the quality of water in the Chesapeake Bay.”
The fund is the most innovative environmental legislation in the past two decades, to remove nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater treatment plant effluent to state-of-the-art levels. When all 66 major plants are upgraded with use of the fund, impact will be a 7.5 million pound annual reduction in nitrogen and a 260 thousand pound annual reduction in phosphorus. The ENR upgrades are scheduled to be completed in early 2010.