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


Jay Apperson

(410) 537-3003


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

Grants and loans will reduce pollution and energy consumption, improve drinking water systems


BALTIMORE, MD (December 19, 2018) – The Maryland Board of Public Works approved more than $76 million in grants and loans today to reduce pollution, save energy and improve drinking water systems. The board is composed of Governor Larry Hogan, Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot.

“These are smart investments to protect public health and the environment while saving money and energy in Maryland communities,” said Maryland Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles. “Upgrading the Westminster sewage treatment plant and septic systems across the state will help us to green and grow the state’s economy and lead in the race to protect and restore Chesapeake Bay watersheds.”

The following projects were approved today:


Westminster Wastewater Treatment Plant Enhanced Nutrient Removal Upgrade project – Carroll County

Funding of $69,106,264 to the City of Westminster will help fund upgrades at the Westminster Wastewater Treatment Plant. The new funding is composed of a $39,327,789 Bay Restoration Fund grant, a $27,606,475 Water Quality State Revolving Loan Fund loan, a $1.5 million grant in the form of forgiveness of a Water Quality State Revolving Loan Fund loan and a $672,000 Energy Water Infrastructure Program grant. The project entails the planning, design and construction of Enhanced Nutrient Removal and biosolids upgrades, along with the installation of a geothermal system to save energy. After the upgrade, the facility will reduce its nitrogen discharge by 62.5 percent and its phosphorus discharge by 85 percent, significantly reducing the amount of nutrients to 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 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 $3,764,000 will provide funding for counties to upgrade on-site sewage disposal (septic) systems to significantly reduce the discharge of nitrogen, one of the most serious pollutants in the Chesapeake Bay. Counties will focus on upgrading septic systems within the critical area. Eighteen Maryland counties will benefit from the grants.


Smithsburg Water Transmission Main Replacement, Wolfsville Road, project – Washington County

Funding of $2,011,429 – a $1,005,714.50 Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund loan and a grant in the form of forgiveness of a $1,005,714.50 Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund loan – to the Town of Smithsburg will help fund the installation of a water main and backup waterline in the town’s water distribution system. The new main will replace an undersized asbestos cement pipe that is brittle and prone to leaks. The new pipe will help meet flow requirements for firefighting, provide a reliable link from the town’s water storage tanks to its water system and eliminate special care required for asbestos cement pipes during repairs.


Kemp Mill Shallow Marsh Wetland Retrofit project – Montgomery County

A $677,320 Water Quality State Revolving Loan Fund loan to Montgomery County will help fund the construction of a stormwater management pond retrofit in the Kemp Mill Forest community. The retrofit will convert a dry pond to a shallow marsh wetland to provide water quality benefits, downstream channel protection and aquatic life habitat. The wetland, which would receive stormwater from a drainage area of about 31 acres, will also minimize temperature effects downstream.


Cambridge Municipal Utilities Commission Energy Reduction project – Dorchester County

A $482,746 Energy Water Infrastructure Program grant to the City of Cambridge will fund the replacement of aged well pumps in the city’s drinking water system. The installation of the pumps and other improvements will save energy.


# # #