Somerset Co. Gets Grants for New Wastewater Treatment Plant - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Somerset Co. Gets Grants for New Wastewater Treatment Plant

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Smith Island Wastewater Treatment Plant (Courtesy: Army Corps of Engineers) Smith Island Wastewater Treatment Plant (Courtesy: Army Corps of Engineers)

BALTIMORE, Md. - The Maryland Board of Public Works has approved more than $21 million in funds to reduce pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.

Grants totaling $575,000 will be going to Somerset County to help fund the planning and design of a wastewater treatment plant in Ewell and an upgrade to the wastewater collection and conveyance system.

“These are smart investments to protect public health and prevent water pollution in Maryland communities and the Chesapeake Bay," Maryland Secretary of the Environment Ben Grumbles said at Wednesday's Board of Public Works meeting.

A $375,000 Bay Restoration Fund grant and a $200,000 Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Supplemental Assistance grant will be used for the project, the Maryland Department of the Environment announced Wednesday.

First, the existing Tylerton Wastewater Treatment Plant will be decommissioned, paving the way for a new Biological Nutrient Removal/Enhanced Nutrient Removal (BNR/ENR) wastewater treatment plant. According to MDE, the upgrade will lead to an 83 percent reduction in discharged nitrogen discharged and a 90 percent reduction in phosphorus discharged to the Frances Gut and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay.

Excessive amounts of nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus lead to lower levels of oxygen needed to support aquatic life in waterways, including the Chesapeake Bay.

Washington and Garrett Counties are also getting grant money to improve their wastewater treatment facilities.

“Upgrading sewage treatment systems in Somerset and Washington counties and improving the water system in the Town of Oakland will help us to green and grow the state’s economy and lead in the race to protect and restore Chesapeake Bay watersheds," Grumbles said.

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