The wastewater sector in the Chesapeake Bay watershed is meeting its 2025 nutrient pollution limits—or Total Maximum Daily Load—nearly a decade ahead of schedule according to the EPA, putting the sector at the forefront of Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts. Achieving this milestone, a result of the region’s wastewater utilities making major investments in their treatment plants and systems, was celebrated by area leaders at a June 14 event held at the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant in the District of Columbia.
Read more about this accomplishment in this DC Water Press Release.
Reactions from COG Members and Staff at the Event:
"Nitrogen is harmful when it enters waterways because it promotes algae growth that can deplete oxygen that fish and other aquatic life need to thrive. Aquatic life in the Chesapeake Bay benefits when everyone in the watershed contributes to solving this problem. Treatment upgrades at our Blue Plains plant have cost over $1 billion and our contribution of nitrogen is now less than two percent of the watershed’s total."
George Hawkins, DC Water CEO
“AlexRenew is proud of our contributions to reducing the nutrient loads to the Chesapeake watershed. Since 2009 we have invested more than $160 million in a state of the art nitrogen upgrade program. Last year we discharged 20 percent less nitrogen than allowed for by the Bay TMDL, that is in addition to discharging 66 percent less phosphorus than allowed. While we have invested in infrastructure and technologies to reduce our nutrient loading to the watershed, we have also invested greatly in engaging the communities we serve to increase our customers understanding and commitment to water quality.”
Charlie Logue, AlexRenew Enterprise's Chief of Production
“WSSC is proud to be part of the efforts to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay through enhanced nutrient removal and we have worked diligently at all of our wastewater plants for the past several decades to meet this goal. This truly represents regional cooperation and collaboration and we look forward to greater successes with our regional partners in the future.”
Joe Mantua, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) Deputy General Manager for Operations
“This is such good news to be celebrating, and makes me proud of my colleagues that operate and maintain these plants. I’m glad that we are making the effort today to recognize the leadership of the local governments and water utilities that have done this work; to appreciate all of the people involved in actually running these facilities; and to acknowledge the local tax payers/rate payers that have funded these projects. The combination of all those efforts is how we were able to make this success possible.”
Tanya Spano, COG Regional Water Quality Management Chief, and Chesapeake Bay Program’s Wastewater Treatment Work Group Chairman