ANNAPOLIS, MD (May 3, 2006) – Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. today announced Board of Public Works approval of a grant totaling more than $5.56 million to upgrade the Salisbury Wastewater Treatment Facility in Wicomico County. 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 in the process of eliminating 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 involves expanding the existing 6.8 million gallon per day treatment plant’s capacity to 8.5 million gallons per day and upgrades to the city’s north and south side pumping stations.
“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 grant, previous state contributions of more than $16 million in grants and a $45 million low interest state loan, all administered by the Maryland Department of the Environment, with other state and federal grants will finance the more than $78 million project.
The project got underway last September and has an expected completion date of September 2008.