Press Release

ANNAPOLIS, MD (March 24, 2004) – Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. announces Board of Public Works approval of a $500,000 grant to the town of Westernport in Allegany County for improvements to the town’s water system.

“Without this work, the only source of clean drinking water for 3,000 Westernport residents is subject to failure,” said Governor Ehrlich. “We will not allow such a situation to occur.”
Presently, the town’s existing raw water transmission line is more than 75-years-old, contains lead joints and is riddled with major mineral deposits. The result is decreased water flow to the town’s water treatment plant. In addition, the line is exposed at several river crossings and is subject to failure.

The construction project’s corrective measures will include installation of a new raw water transmission line from Savage River Dam to the town’s water plant, requiring 32,000 feet of 16-inch ductile iron pipe.

“Westernport is very happy to receive this grant,” said Mayor Donald T. Smith.

The total cost of the project is estimated at more than $7.5 million. Westernport will contribute $6.5 million toward the total with the remainder coming from future actions administered through the Maryland Department of the Environment’s Water Quality Infrastructure Program.

Work to replace the water lines is expected to begin next month.