Governor’s Press Release

ANNAPOLIS, MD (September 3, 1999) – The Maryland Board of Public Works approved a loan on Wednesday of $107.5 million to the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) for the completion of four environmental upgrade projects.

"The drought has clearly taught us that water is one of our most precious resources and that maintaining a healthy and clean water supply is one of the greatest challenges we face," said Governor Parris N. Glendening. "These upgrades will further ensure that tap water in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties is safe, and that Maryland’s most vital resource, the Chesapeake Bay, is protected."

The Commission treats 181 million gallons of wastewater, 1,000 tons of sludge and 168 million gallons of drinking water every day. The four projects will enhance the level of pollution control for 950 square miles of Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties.

A biological nutrient removal (BNR) facility upgrade at the 30 million gallon-per-day Piscataway Wastewater Treatment Plant will provide advanced wastewater treatment to reduce nitrogen to the Chesapeake Bay by approximately 2,500 pounds per day, consistent with the Chesapeake Bay strategy to achieve the 40 percent nutrient reduction goal. This project will receive $11.4 million.

The Potomac Drinking Water Plant will receive $27.4 million for the design and construction of a Solids Handling Facility for the water filtration plant. This facility will separate the filter backwash and dispose of sediments and solids before discharging water back into the Potomac River.

A $14 million loan will go toward the design and construction of a consolidated laboratory facility that will centralize WSSC’s water quality testing and analysis operations that are presently being performed in five separate retrofitted facilities located throughout Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties.

The fourth project is an upgrade of the 370 million gallons per day Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Plant, which is designed to improve water quality discharges into the Potomac River. This project will receive a loan of $54.7 million. Although located in Washington DC, about 46 percent of the sewage treated at this facility comes from Maryland.

Chaired by Governor Glendening, the Board of Public Works also is comprised of Comptroller William Donald Schaefer and Treasurer Richard N. Dixon. The Board is empowered by the General Assembly to approve major construction and consultant contracts, equipment purchases, property transactions and other procurement actions.