Federalsburg Upgrade to Lower Nutrients to Chesapeake

On Aug. 9, Maryland completed a key component of its Chesapeake Bay cleanup work through the upgrade of the Federalsburg wastewater treatment plant. According to a press release, the upgrade will result in significantly less nitrogen and phosphorous pollution in Marshyhope Creek and the Chesapeake Bay.

The upgrade was funded through a $3.3 million Bay Restoration Fund grant, $2.8 million in state grants, as well as a $3.1 million low-interest loan.

"After decades of setting restoration goals and benchmarks decades in the future, Maryland -- along with our Bay State partners and the federal EPA -- has committed to ambitious new two-year Bay milestones that more than double our work to reduce nutrient pollution," said Gov. Martin O'Malley. "Key to achieving this goal is upgrading our state's wastewater treatment plants."

Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Shari T. Wilson said: "These improvements will significantly decrease the amount of nutrients discharged into Marshyhope Creek and the Bay -- nitrogen loads will be reduced 83 percent and phosphorus by 85 percent. The resulting water quality will help protect our environment and the health of Marylanders."

The Federalsburg wastewater treatment plant project involved planning, design, and construction for the biological and enhanced nutrient removal facilities at the existing 0.75 million gallons per day (mgd) Federalsburg Wastewater Treatment Plant. Upon completion of these upgrades, the Federalsburg Wastewater Treatment Plant will be capable of achieving effluent quality with annual average nutrient goals of 3 mg/l for total nitrogen and 0.3 mg/l for total phosphorous. Construction began in January 2008 and was completed this month.

Federalsburg will receive $1.6 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act clean water funding, along with a $900,000 state grant, for a new project to control stormwater runoff pollution, prevent sewer overflows, and reduce flooding. The stimulus funds will be used to design and construct new separate sewer lines and storm drains to functionally replace existing deteriorated combined sewer lines. The new storm drain system will eliminate the potential for combined sewer overflows and reduce stormwater from entering the sewer system and adversely impacting Federalsburg's pumping station and its newly upgraded wastewater treatment plant.

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