The Supplemental Wastewater Indicator is a load-based measure of average annual progress toward the 2025 planning targets for wastewater treatment plants and industrial sources. Unlike the Reducing Pollution indicators which report wastewater flows from annual discharge data, this wastewater indicator uses long-term average flows to control for annual variations in weather and hydrological conditions. Since these hydrological influences can cause load fluctuations that exceed restoration efforts in any given year, this indicator was developed as a tool for watershed managers to better understand the effects of their management decisions.

July 05, 2012

Old wastewater treatment plants can contribute nitrogen and phosphorous to the Chesapeake Bay, but plants across the watershed are being upgraded. Alan Quimby from the Queen Anne’s County (Md.) Department of Public Works explains how these upgrades will help the Bay.

July 05, 2012

The Chesapeake Bay Program visited three different wastewater treatment plants in the Chesapeake Bay watershed in various stages of upgrading their management systems.  Join Doug Abbott, superintendent of wastewater treatment facilities in Easton, Maryland, and George Hawkins, general manager of the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority, as they explain the importance of these upgrades and getting the message out to the public.

July 05, 2012

After eleven years, $40 million and more than 16,000 linear feet of pipe, West Virginia is set to bring a new wastewater treatment plant online and make huge cuts to the pollution it sends into the Chesapeake Bay. Under construction in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle, the Moorefield Wastewater Treatment Plant will replace four existing plants with one new system, marking a significant milestone in the headwater state’s efforts to curb pollution and improve water quality. Expected to go into operation this fall, the plant will remove 90,000 pounds of nitrogen and 93,000 pounds of phosphorous from West Virginia wastewater each year.
Closed Captions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04Bgrrndm9I


The Bay cannot be restored without water that is clean, clear and rich in oxygen. Currently, the Bay and its rivers receive too much nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment for the ecosystem to remain healthy. Wastewater treatment plant discharges are one of the primary sources of these pollutants.

Additional Information

The Chesapeake Bay Program previously reported permitted facilities data in an old "supplemental wastewater indicator".  The Water Quality Goal Implementation Team (WQGIT) agreed to replace it with the new Supplemental Wastewater indicator currently reported by the Maryland Department of the Environment for the following reasons:

  • Virginia representatives to the WQGIT explained that James River permited facilities data portrayed in the old supplemental wastewater indicator were misleading.
  • Maryland representatives to the WQGIT explained that the old supplemental wastewater indicator was of no value since they prefer the new Supplemental Wastewater indicator.
  • EPA representatives to the WQGIT explained that it had been challenging to explain the old supplemental wastewater indicator to the public.

However, Chesapeake Bay Foundation representatives to the WQGIT explained that permitted facilities data are valuable.  Those data are still tracked via the  "Permitted Facilities" tab at the Bay TMDL tracker website.


Ning Zhou

(410) 267-5727