$16 million grant approved for water treatment projects

The Maryland Board of Public Works approved more than $16 million in funding Wednesday aimed at reducing pollution and improving water quality.

State officials say the funding will make the upgrading of wastewater treatment plants, better storm water management, new water meters and improved infrastructure a possibility.

Upgrading the drinking water distribution system is among several things marked by the state as a need.
""Projects such as these are an important part of our effort to improve Maryland waterways, including the Chesapeake Bay," said Gov. Martin O'Malley. "These projects reduce pollution and protect the environment and public health while creating jobs for more Marylanders."

The following projects were approved Wednesday as a part of the project:

St. Mary's Radio Read Water Meters project - St. Mary's County
Grant and loan funding of $7,823,248 (a $4,918,000 green loan and a $2,905,248 green grant in the form of loan forgiveness) from the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund Program to the St. Mary's County Metropolitan Commission will help fund the St. Mary's Radio Read Water Meters project. The project entails the purchase and installation of radio-read capable water meters throughout the St. Mary's County Metropolitan Commission service area to increase the efficiency of the billing process and promote water conservation by more accurately tracking water consumption and by helping to detect leaks.

Crisfield Wind Energy project - City of Crisfield, Somerset County
Grant and loan funding of $3,623,000 (a $453,000 green loan and a $3,170,000 green grant in the form of loan forgiveness) from the Water Quality State Revolving Loan Fund to the City of Crisfield will help fund the Crisfield Wind Energy project. The project involves the design and construction of a 750 kilowatt wind turbine to improve energy efficiency at the City of Crisfield wastewater treatment plant. Energy produced in excess of the plant's needs will be fed into the commercial electric power grid.

Westernport Water Meter Replacement project - Town of Westernport, Allegany County 
Grant and loan funding of $1,715,000 (a $638,750 loan and a $1,076,250 grant in the form of loan forgiveness) from the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund to the Town of Westernport will help fund the Westernport Water Meter Replacement project. The project entails the replacement of water meters and installation of new water meters for the Town's entire water distribution system. Half of the Town's customers do not have meters and the existing meters are aging and deteriorating, leading to inaccurate measurements.

Westernport Water Distribution System Improvements Phase I project - Town of Westernport, Allegany County 
Grant and loan funding of $1,565,974 (a $196,000 loan and an $823,000 grant in the form of loan forgiveness from the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund and $546,974 in grants from the Water Supply Financial Assistance Program) to the Town of Westernport will help fund the Westernport Water Distribution System Improvements Phase I project. The project entails the replacement of the aging water distribution system throughout the Town of Westernport, including the installation of water meters, storage tanks, booster pumps and other ancillary equipment. This project helps to protect public health and conserve drinking water.

Frostburg Combined Sewer Overflow Elimination Phase VII-B Paul Street project - City of Frostburg, Allegany County
Grant and loan funding of $638,075 (an $84,000 loan and a $470,000 grant in the form of loan forgiveness from the Water Quality State Revolving Loan Fund and $84,075 in Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Project Funds grants) to the City of Frostburg will help fund the Frostburg Combined Sewer Overflow Elimination Phase VII-B Paul Street project. The project entails the separation of Frostburg's existing combined sewer system and related improvements to the City's wastewater collection system. It consists of the planning, design and construction of gravity sewer and stormwater lines to prevent sewer overflows in the Paul Street area.

Rockfish Bar & Grill Stormwater Retrofit project - Anne Arundel County
A $368,232 Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Nonpoint Source Fund grant to the Spa Creek Conservancy will help fund the Rockfish Bar & Grill Stormwater Retrofit project. The project consists of environmental site techniques to address nonpoint sources pollution in urban areas, including: rain gardens adjacent to parking spaces; rain barrels; landscaping islands; and low-maintenance trees and shrubs. These controls will provide stormwater storage and infiltration for about 1.5 acres of impervious surface, reducing pollutants to Spa Creek and the Severn River.

Taneytown Wastewater Treatment Plant Enhanced Nutrient Removal Upgrade project -City of Taneytown, Carroll County
A $270,000 Bay Restoration Fund grant, in addition to a previous $310,000 Bay Restoration Fund grant, to the City

of Taneytown will help fund the planning and design of Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) facilities at the 1.1 million gallons per day Taneytown Wastewater Treatment Plant. After the upgrades, the facility will reduce its nitrogen discharge by 62.5 percent and its phosphorus discharge by 85 percent, significantly reducing the amount of nutrients discharged to Piney Creek, a tributary of the Monocacy River, and ultimately 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 the state's major wastewater treatment plants are a critical component of Maryland's Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan.

Dorsey Run Wastewater Treatment Plant Enhanced Nutrient Removal Upgrade project -Anne Arundel County
A $48,000 Bay Restoration Fund grant to Maryland Environmental Services will help fund the planning of Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) facilities at the 2.0 million gallons per day Dorsey Run Wastewater Treatment Plant. After the upgrades, the facility will reduce its nitrogen discharge by 62.5 percent and its phosphorus discharge by 70 percent, significantly reducing the amount of nutrients discharged to the Little Patuxent River and ultimately 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 the state's major wastewater treatment plants are a critical component of Maryland's Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan.

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