Howard County announced yesterday that it has received a $35.5 million state grant to help pay for a $100 million county project to upgrade the county's Little Patuxent Water Reclamation Plant in Savage.
The goal of the project is to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus runoff into the Patuxent River and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay, officials said. James M. Irvin, the county public works director, said the grant from the state Department of the Environment is double the anticipated amount and will enable the county to free up more local funding for other water and sewer projects.
The water and sewer system is self-supported through residents' utility taxes, but the state money comes from the so-called "flush tax," a fee paid by all residents. State officials said the money is being used to help local governments upgrade the largest 66 waste treatment plants and cut nutrient and sediment runoff into the waterways.
"This is an incredible financial commitment from the state to dramatically improve the water quality in the Little Patuxent River and the Bay," County Executive Ken Ulman said in a news release.