CUMBERLAND — Several water treatment systems in Allegany County are the recipients of state grants approved by the Maryland Board of Public Works this week to help improve their facilities.

The city of Cumberland will use a $500,000 Evitts Creek combined sewer overflow elimination grant to upgrade the wastewater pumping station and the force main to carry the flow generated in the sewer basin to the wastewater treatment plant. This will reduce the frequency and volume of combined sewer and storm water overflows to Evitts Creek and the Potomac River, ultimately reducing nitrogen inputs to the Chesapeake Bay.

Previous grants of $225,000 and $863,573 were provided to improve these water treatment facilities.

Frostburg will have $118,000 to work with for improving the sanitary and combined sewer infrastructure. The work includes the replacement and rehabilitation of sewer lines, upgrades to pumping stations and other related improvements to prevent combined sewer overflows into Sand Spring Run, a tributary to the Potomac River. Previous grants of $650,443 and $800,000 were provided for this project.

Westernport’s previously approved grant for its combined sewer overflow project was increased by $630,940. The town originally received $2.2 million. Corrective measures will include the separation and replacement of pipes, pipe joints, manhole covers, and walls and will benefit public health and improve water quality for residents within the drainage area of Georges Creek and the Upper Potomac River. The project is part of ongoing efforts to bring the town into compliance with federal and state requirements.

Westernport also will have $225,000 more to upgrade its water treatment plant in addition to a previous grant of $863,573. This includes replacing outdated facilities and equipment with more current technology to improve water quality as well as constructing a new elevated water storage tank and pumping system to improve water pressure for residents.

The Board of Public Works also approved more than $6.6 million in Bay Restoration Funds to upgrade septic systems elsewhere in the state and $1.8 million to limit pollution and health hazards as part of the state’s recycled scrap tire program. Board members are Gov. Martin O’Malley, Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot.

“Protecting our environment and our water quality by reducing nutrient pollution from wastewater and failing septic systems is a critical component of our efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and our local waterways, and we are fortunate to have funding programs in place to do that,” said O’Malley in a news release. “It’s also critical that we ensure that Marylanders have access to safe and abundant drinking water.”

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