Baltimore County

State grant helps upgrade city sewage plant

The state Board of Public Works approved Wednesday a $75.2 million grant to help pay for upgrading Baltimore's Patapsco sewage treatment plant, Maryland's second largest.

The facility, which can treat up to 63 million gallons daily from the city and parts of Anne Arundel and Howard counties, is in the process of improving its removal of nitrogen, one of the nutrients in sewage that can cause algae blooms and other water quality problems in the harbor and the Chesapeake Bay.

Roughly half the project's $327.7 million cost is being paid for with grants from the state's Bay Restoration Fund, which draws revenues from the "flush fee" that every homeowner and business must pay. The city is putting up nearly $49 million, with the remainder coming from other loans and grants, according to the Maryland Department of the Environment.

The upgrade is scheduled to be complete by June 2014.

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