Board of Public Works Approves Funding for Clean Water and the Chesapeake Bay


Samantha Kappalman

Jay Apperson


Grants and loans will reduce pollution, improve drinking water and wastewater infrastructure

BALTIMORE, MD (December 4, 2013) – The Maryland Board of Public Works approved more than $128 million in funding today to upgrade a large sewage treatment plant, improve a sewer line and a drinking water system and upgrade septic systems. The Board is composed of Governor Martin O’Malley, Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot. Lieutenant Governor Anthony G. Brown represented Governor O’Malley at today’s meeting.

“Projects such as these are an important part of our effort to improve Maryland waterways, including the Chesapeake Bay, and provide quality drinking water to our citizens,” said Lieutenant Governor Brown. “These projects reduce pollution and protect the environment and public health while creating jobs for more Marylanders.”

The following projects were approved today:

Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant Enhanced Nutrient Removal Upgrade project– Baltimore City, Baltimore County

A $126,000,000 Bay Restoration Fund grant, in addition to a previous $15,000,000 Bay Restoration Fund grant, to Baltimore City will help fund the planning, design and construction of Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) facilities at the 180 million gallons per day Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant. After the upgrades, the facility will reduce its nitrogen discharge by 62.5 percent, significantly reducing the amount of nutrients discharged to Back River and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. Excessive amounts of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus lead to lowered levels of oxygen needed to support aquatic life in waterways, including the Chesapeake Bay. Enhanced Nutrient Removal upgrades of the state’s major wastewater treatment plants are a critical component of Maryland’s Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan.

Upgrade Septic Systems – Statewide

Grants from the Bay Restoration Fund totaling $2,195,000 will provide funding for counties to upgrade on-site sewage disposal (septic) systems to significantly reduce the discharge of nitrogen, the most serious pollutant in the Chesapeake Bay. Counties will focus on upgrading septic systems located within the Critical Area. A typical septic system that does not remove nitrogen delivers about 23 pounds of nitrogen per year to the groundwater. An upgraded, nitrogen-removing septic system cuts a system’s nitrogen load at least in half. Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Frederick, Garrett, Harford, Howard, Kent, Queen Anne’s, St. Mary’s, Talbot, Washington and Wicomico counties will benefit from the grants.

Jennings Run Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation Phase II project – Allegany County

A $200,000 Water Quality State Revolving Loan Fund loan to Allegany County, in addition to a previous $1,187,042 Chesapeake Bay Water Quality grant, will help fund the rehabilitation of the existing Jennings Run sanitary sewer system. The project involves the relining and replacement of sewer pipes and manholes and other ancillary infrastructure.

Queenstown Municipal Well project – Queen Anne’s County

A $200,000 Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund loan to the Town of Queenstown will help fund the design and construction of a new drinking water supply well and abandonment of an existing water well contaminated with arsenic. The new well will assure an adequate supply of drinking water to the Town residents. The project will include modifications to the existing pipe network to improve hydraulic performance, upgrades to controls for the distribution systems and other ancillary improvements.

Federalsburg Holland Drive Water Main Loop project – Caroline County

An $86,625 Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund grant in the form of loan forgiveness and a $12,375 Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund loan will help fund the design and construction of a water main to improve the water quality in the Holland Drive area of the Federalsburg water distribution system.

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