Secretary, East New Market Seeking 5 Million For Wastewater Trea - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Secretary, East New Market Seeking 5 Million For Wastewater Treatment Plant

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SECRETARY, Md.-  The town of Secretary sits on the Choptank River, and there has been a big push from Maryland over the past few years to clean up nitrogen and phosphorous pollution from going into these rivers, and then into the bay.  And that cleanup includes wastewater treatment plants.

The plant is working just fine.  Water is still being cleaned, and it's still safe to use.  But in a few years time, this aging wastewater treatment plant will not be able to exist under new regulations.

"Because of the situation in the bay with the nitrogen and the phosphorous levels, this particular plant won't remove nitrogen and phosphorous from the water," said Secretary Engineer William Gullion.

Gullion, and Secretary's Mayor Susan Dukes say this lagoon style system won't pass muster for much longer.  A new one that looks like this will need to be built.  But that comes with a price tag.

"We have approximately 9 million dollars already allocated in funding, we need to find a source of funding for 5 million more so we can move forward with the project," said Dukes.

The good news is the cost is split between two towns, Secretary and East New Market.  The bad news is these are two of the smaller towns on the shore, so a $5 million gap is massive, and not one they can simply get a loan for.

"That would be very difficult with our budget to try to sustain that kind of debt service," said Dukes.

The towns are aggressively persuing funding from the state and federal level to fill that gap.  Simply tapping into a nearby treatment plant isn't a solution.

"Looking at a lot of miles of pipes, and a lot of pump stations and valves in between.  It would be a lot more than just to replace the plant here with what we need," said Gullion.

Despite the fact that there is still a 5 million dollar funding gap, Mayor Dukes says the project is still moving forward.  They expect to have a new wastewater treatment plant built in the next few years.

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