September 26, 2017
Politics & Opinion
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An Upgrade To Cox Creek

Steve Schuh
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August 22, 2017

Recently, our county celebrated a huge milestone: the completion of the $141 million upgrade to Cox Creek Water Reclamation Facility in Pasadena. Elected officials past and present gathered on July 12 as we highlighted this major achievement to improve the water quality in and around North County.

It is a project envisioned by former Governor Bob Ehrlich when he proposed and signed into law the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Act in 2004. Across Maryland at that time, water reclamation facilities were outdated and not adequately cleaning the water flowing into the bay and its tributaries. Slowly but surely, algae blooms caused by large amounts of nitrogen and phosphorous were choking the waterways that are the lifeblood of the Chesapeake Bay.

The Chesapeake Bay Restoration Act worked to reverse this trend by mandating water reclamation upgrades across the state that would remove more nitrogen and phosphorous from waterways. Here in Anne Arundel County, we went to work and embarked on a more than $200 million program to upgrade six water treatment plants, implementing best practices in expanding and updating our six facilities.

The process began in 2011, as the county has worked diligently to upgrade each facility. The upgrade at Cox Creek was the result of a $141 million investment, the largest capital project in Anne Arundel County history. The five other upgrades took place at locations around the county. These include:

·         Annapolis Water Reclamation Facility at a cost of $20 million

·         Broadneck Water Reclamation Facility at a cost of $25 million

·         Broadwater Water Reclamation Facility at a cost of $10 million

·         Maryland City Water Reclamation Facility at a cost of $10 million

·         Patuxent Water Reclamation facility at a cost of $13 million

The Chesapeake Bay Restoration Act has been called the most important piece of bay preservation legislation in a generation, and the data backs up that claim. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation rating for the bay has risen to 34, up from 32 in 2014 and up from only 23 in 1983. Our water treatment upgrades are pulling millions of pounds of nitrogen and phosphorus out of the bay each year, bringing the bay back to life and ensuring we can preserve this natural wonder.

Thanks to Governor Ehrlich and his vision, we are cleaning our bay and preserving this magnificent body of water for future generations. Our administration continues his legacy, as we work to improve the health of our waterways every day in every corner of our county.


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