Cumberland Times-News

June 9, 2014

Meeting on Rocky Gap water plant set

Upgrades planned stem from casino’s need for clean supply

Matthew Bieniek
Cumberland Times-News

ROCKY GAP — A planned major upgrade to water and wastewater facilities at Rocky Gap State Park will be the subject of a meeting between local legislators and other interested parties later this month. The meeting will likely be informative, along with some discussion of the responsibilities for funding the project, said Allegany County Commissioner Bill Valentine.

The park will benefit from the upgrade, although the main impetus for the upgrade is Rocky Gap Casino Resort’s need for clean and plentiful water. The water work was initially to be completed before the casino began operation, Valentine said.

Initially, Valentine understood that the casino was not to bear costs of the upgrades. Billing for water and related services has also
been a concern, Valentine said. The casino’s water payments are based on the percentage of water the lodge and casino is using. That can lead to wide variations in the water bill for the casino and resort based on how busy the park is, Valentine said. A different payment arrangement might be more fair, Valentine said.

A large chunk of funding was recently approved for the project by the Maryland Board of Public Works. A $1.5 million contract was awarded to Carl Belt Inc.

“The current project approved by the BPW is for the first phase of the upgrade of the Rocky Gap wastewater treatment plant,” Chris Garrigan of Maryland Environmental Service has said. Maryland Environmental Service is an independent state agency that runs the Rocky Gap water plant.

The work will consist of the construction of a 10,000-gallon flow equalization tank, new headworks with mechanical barscreen and grinder, 2,300 linear feet of 8-inch water main cement-lined pipe, and 2,300 linear feet of power, cable and telephone conduits, said Garrigan.

“The design of phase 1 of the wastewater treatment plant upgrades is complete. Design of phase 2 of the WWTP upgrades is underway. Construction of phase 1 of the WWTP upgrade is anticipated to take place from June 2014 to January 2015. Funding has been approved for the design and construction of the second phase of the upgrade to the WWTP. Funding has also been approved for the design and construction of a new membrane filtration WWTP and design is underway,” Garrigan said.

Approximately 2,300 linear feet of water main will be installed along Lakeview Road, starting across from the new plant and running toward the casino, Garrigan said.

Previous work has helped meet water quality standards.

“The original water treatment plant process was not capable of consistently meeting EPA’s Disinfection By Products rule without the addition of carbon filters to the treatment system. Installation of rental carbon filters in June 2006 allowed for finished water to meet the regulations,” Garrigan said.

Besides the local legislative delegation, those invited to attend include Jim Harkins of the Maryland Environmental Service, and Department of Natural Resources and Rocky Gap Casino Resort officials.

The meeting is tentatively being planned for June 19.

Matthew Bieniek can be contacted at .