Press Release

BALTIMORE, Maryland (April 24, 2008) – Today, Governor Martin O'Malley and Maryland's Executive Cabinet spent the day in Westminster, declaring it Maryland's "Capital for a Day." The monthly program brings the State Capital to every corner of Maryland through a series of events across a diverse selection of Maryland cities, towns and communities.

As part of this program, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) Deputy Secretary Bob Summers and Mayor Thomas K. Ferguson dedicated Cranberry Run Water Treatment Plan that has just been upgraded to improve drinking water supplies.

During the event, speakers -- including Deputy Secretary Summers and Mayor Ferguson -- cut a ribbon dedicating the plant and those in attendance took a brief tour of the new facility.

“This project is an example of how state and local governments are working together to ensure quality drinking water for Maryland’s families,” said Deputy Secretary of the Environment Bob Summers. “Upgrading this drinking water system will improve reliability of the drinking water system in Westminster."

Funded with over $10 million from the State Revolving Loan Fund, the upgrade will treat water from Cranberry Branch, Cranberry Reservoir, and West Branch, and favorably positions the City of Westminster to comply with more stringent drinking water requirements in the future. This new plant will be able to handle the elevated turbidity that occurs following storm events. In addition, the new membrane technology has proven capability to remove high levels of Giardia and Cryptosporidium Cysts, which are two protozoa that can be found in surface water sources. The new plant also incorporates the filters from the old plant thereby allowing recycling of the backwash and saving 20,000 to 27,000 gallons per day. The design capacity of the plant is 2.75 million gallons per day.

This upgrade is a significant step as the City of Westminster address important water supply issues and to eliminate the water deficit. By October 2009, The City will provide a plan and schedule describing how it will ensure that the water system will have sufficient capacity to meet existing demand and demand for future planned growth in case of record drought conditions. Westminster has also adopted an automated billing system, a community education plan, and is pursuing permits for additional wells to close the water supply deficit.