BALTIMORE, MD (August 31, 2005) – Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. today announced Board of Public Works approval of two grants totaling more than $5.5 million to upgrade the Salisbury Wastewater Treatment Facility in Wicomico County. A $3 million grant will come from the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund and another of $2.5 million will cover biological nutrient removal expenses. The Board is comprised of Governor Ehrlich, Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp and Comptroller William D. Schaefer.
“Maryland continues to be the leader in restoring the health of the Chesapeake Bay,” said Governor Ehrlich. “Across Maryland, we are gearing up to eliminate millions of pounds of pollution annually from the Bay. This administration is committed to preserving our great national treasure. Projects like this one in Salisbury will have a lasting impact on this state and the legacy we leave to future generations.”
This upgrade will help the plant fulfill an annual effluent concentration goal of 3 milligrams per liter (mg/l) for Nitrogen and 0.3 mg/l for phosphorous, before discharging to the Wicomico River that flows to the Bay. Excess nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorus, lead to degraded water quality, which negatively impact the ecology of the Bay and its tributaries. The project also involves expanding the existing 6.8 million gallon per day treatment plant’s capacity to 8.5 million gallons per day.
“The support from the State of Maryland on this project will substantially improve both the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay and Wicomico River,” said Barry Tilghman, mayor of Salisbury. “The additional capacity at the facility will likely stimulate residential, commercial and industrial development within the service area.”
In addition to the nearly $3 million Bay Restoration Fund grant, a loan of $48.9 million to the city from the state revolving fund, administered by the Maryland Department of the Environment, with other state and federal grants will finance the project.
The groundbreaking for the upgrade was held Aug. 17 with the project’s completion date expected by September 2008.