ANNAPOLIS, MD (April 21, 2004) – Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. today announced Board of Public Works approval of a $267,975 grant for the City of Fruitland to upgrade the municipality’s wastewater treatment plant.
“Nutrient removal at wastewater treatment plants is one of my top environmental priorities,” said Governor Ehrlich. “I am committed to achieving a 40-percent reduction in the amount of nutrients discharged to the Chesapeake Bay, and this grant is a big step toward meeting that goal.”
The grant will be used to install a biological nutrient removal (BNR) facility at the plant, improving its ability to remove nitrogen from treated water, as well as expand of the treatment plant’s capacity to 800,000 gallons per day to provide for growth projected to occur in the area over the next few years. Once complete, the plant will be able to remove nitrogen to a level of 8 milligrams per liter before discharging to the lower Wicomico River.
Excess nutrients lead to degraded water quality, which negatively impacts the ecology of the bay and its tributaries.
“With these additional funds from the state, Fruitland can afford to build a wastewater plant sized to meet our immediate needs and to provide capacity for development,” said Fruitland City Council President Greg Olinde. “The Fruitland City Council appreciates this opportunity not only to promote public health but to offer incentives to Marylanders who choose to live in designated growth areas where public services are available.”
The total cost of the project is more than $9.4 million. The Maryland Department of the Environment, through its Water Quality Infrastructure Program, will assist the town with a low interest loan and additional grants while a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant will round out funding of the project.
Construction on the upgrade began in December 2001 and is slated for completion later this month.