INDIAN HEAD, MD (May 20, 2005) – The steady march toward a cleaner Chesapeake Bay continued in Southern Maryland today as Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Kendl P. Philbrick, Indian Head Mayor Dennis Scheessele, state and local elected officials gathered to sign a cooperative agreement to upgrade the municipality’s wastewater treatment plant with the most appropriate and cost effective technology to reduce nutrient pollution.
“When completed, this facility will serve as another significant step towards our lasting commitment of producing a healthy Chesapeake Bay and cleaner environment,” said Secretary Philbrick. “Every dollar spent in such projects is an investment and an essential part of our long-standing effort toward achieving Maryland’s Chesapeake 2000 Agreement commitment to reduce the amount of nutrients being discharged to the Bay from our state by 19.5 million pounds per year.”
The project at the Indian head Wastewater Treatment Plant, includes construction of Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) facilities to achieve total nitrogen removal to a yearly average of 3 milligrams per liter (mg/l) and phosphorus removal to a yearly average of 0.3 mg/l. Excess nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorus, lead to degraded water quality, which negatively impact the ecology of the Bay and its tributaries.
The upgrade of the plant will reduce nitrogen loading to the waterways by an estimated 22,800 pounds per year and phosphorus by roughly 4,100 pounds per year, ultimately resulting in nutrient reductions for the Chesapeake Bay.
“Improving water quality in the bay’s tributaries is critical in tackling our water pollution problems,” Secretary Philbrick added. “We must do all we can to safeguard the Chesapeake, related tributaries and its living resources that have sustained this region's economy, defined its traditions and culture.”
“Because of this partnership we will be able to upgrade treatment processes at our wastewater treatment plant," said Indian Head Mayor Dennis Scheessele. “Through MDE’s funding and our commitment, we will be able to meet new nutrient removal standards and do our part to protect the Mattawoman Creek and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Our thanks to MDE for their efforts and support in forging a partnership that accrues to everyone's benefit and to the protection of the Chesapeake Bay. We are pleased to be able to put Chesapeake Bay Restoration Funds to work protecting the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. And we thank Secretary Kendl Philbrick for MDE's support and assistance.”
Construction is expected begin in September with the project’s completion coming about a year later. Total project cost is approximately $9.7 million, which will be funded by the Bay Restoration Fund, state grants, and the State Revolving Loan Fund.