by Alicia Pimental
January 04, 2012
Maryland will provide more than $19 million in grants to reduce nutrient pollution to the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers by upgrading technology at four wastewater treatment plants in the state. Upgrading wastewater treatment facilities to remove more nitrogen and phosphorus from treated sewage is a critical part of meeting Bay cleanup goals.
The four facilities that will be upgraded are:
- Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant (Baltimore City) will receive $15 million to plan and design Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) and Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) facilities. After the upgrades, the facility will reduce its nitrogen discharge to the Back River by 67 percent.
- Maryland City Water Reclamation Facility (Anne Arundel County) will receive $2.973 million to plan, design and construct ENR facilities. After the upgrades, the facility will reduce its nitrogen discharge to the upper Patuxent River by 62.5 percent and its phosphorus discharge by 70 percent.
- Westminster Wastewater Treatment Plant (Carroll County) will receive $1 million to plan, design and construct ENR facilities. After the upgrades, the facility will reduce its nitrogen discharge to the upper Potomac River by 62.5 percent and its phosphorus discharge by 85 percent.
- Gas House Pike Wastewater Treatment Plant (Frederick County) will receive $758,000 to design and construct BNR refinements and an ENR upgrade. After the upgrades, the facility will reduce its nitrogen discharge to the Monocacy River by 67 percent and its phosphorus discharge by 85 percent.
Biological nutrient removal (BNR) uses microorganisms to remove nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater during treatment. Wastewater treated at facilities using BNR contains less than 8 milligrams per liter (mg/l) of nitrogen. Enhanced nutrient removal (ENR) improves upon the nutrient reductions achieved through BNR. Wastewater treated at facilities using ENR contains 3 mg/l of nitrogen and 0.3 mg/l of phosphorus.
Funding for the upgrades comes from Maryland’s Bay Restoration Fund – also known as the “Flush Fee.” To learn more about wastewater treatment plant upgrades in Maryland, visit the Maryland Department of the Environment’s website.