ANNAPOLIS, MD (June 1, 2005) – Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. announced Board of Public Works approval today of a $1.9 million grant for the City of Salisbury (Wicomico County) to upgrade the municipality’s existing wastewater treatment plant to a enhanced nutrient removal (ENR) system and expands its treatment capacity. The Board is comprised of Governor Ehrlich, Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp and Comptroller William D. Schaefer.
“Nutrient removal at wastewater treatment plants is essential for the success of Maryland’s effort to achieve a 40 percent reduction in the amount of nutrients discharged to the Chesapeake Bay,” Governor Ehrlich said.
Excess nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorus, lead to degraded water quality, which negatively impact the ecology of the Bay and its tributaries.
The project upgrade to Salisbury’s existing wastewater treatment plant includes the planning, design and construction of full-scale ENR facilities and expansion of its treatment capabilities from 6.8 million gallons of wastewater per day to 8.5 million gallons per day.
“I am very much aware of and support this project which will substantially improve both the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay and the Wicomico River,” said Salisbury Mayor Barrie P. Tilghman. “The additional capacity at the facility will likely stimulate residential, commercial and industrial development within the service area.”
The total cost of the project is more than $44.4 million, of which $25.6 million is the local share being provided from the state revolving loan fund. The remaining balance of the cost will be provided through a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency contribution of $7 million and a series of other state grants, of which $6.4 million has already been granted. The grant dollars will come from the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund and the Maryland Department of the Environment’s Water Quality Infrastructure Program.
Construction on the upgrade is expected to begin in September and is slated for completion by the end of 2007.