Press Release

ANNAPOLIS, MD (December 3, 2003), – Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. today announced Board of Public Works approval of a $1.14 million grant for Montgomery County and the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) to further funding of a new Seneca Wastewater Treatment Plant adjacent to the existing facility.

“This funding will allow Montgomery County to improve the quality of service to those served by the Seneca Wastewater Treatment Plant while at the same time, reducing the amount of nutrients being released into Maryland’s waterways,” Governor Ehrlich said.

The $1.14 million, from the Maryland Department of the Environment’s Water Quality Infrastructure Program, will go toward planning, design and construction of a new 20 million gallon per day wastewater treatment plant with biological nutrient removal (BNR) technology. Installation of BNR will improve nitrogen removal from the plant’s discharged water to a level of 8 milligrams per liter and phosphorus to 0.5 milligrams per liter. The treated wastewater from the plant will drain into Great Seneca Creek, a tributary of the Potomac River that drains into the Chesapeake Bay.

“Returning clean water to our environment is a crucial part of our mission,” said WSSC General Manager John R. Griffin. “Seneca’s expansion completes the comprehensive upgrading of our wastewater treatment plant network for conventional biological nutrient removal and also supports our on-going commitment to helping restore the Chesapeake Bay.”

The total cost of the new plant, which will be operated by WSSC, is estimated at $69.5 million, of which $54.8 million is the local share. The state will have committed more than $14.7 million once the five-year project is complete early next year.