Video: Elkton, Maryland Sought a Solution to Comply With State and Federal Regulations

In 2005, Elkton, Maryland, found itself out of compliance with the new, lower nutrient level removal requirements for wastewater treatment effluent.  Town leaders needed a solution to upgrade their existing facility that was already at capacity.

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The town of Elkton, Maryland, population 16,000, is located near the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay, on Big Elk Creek.  In 2005, Elkton found itself out of compliance with the new, lower nutrient level removal requirements for wastewater treatment effluent.  Town leaders needed a solution to upgrade their existing facility that was already at capacity.  With the help of state funding, Elkton and its engineers developed an integrated solution to meet state guidelinges that also support population growth and economic expansion.

-Lewis George, Elkton Town Administrator
"The Maryland Department of the Environment created very stringent nitrogen standards that the town of Elkton's former treatment process could not meet".

-Ken Benner, Wastewater Treatment Manager, Elkton, Maryland
"The old plant was a RBC facility, which is rotating biological contacters.  It was designed in the '70's.  It had primary treatment and then the RBCs and some chemical treatment for phosphorous removal".

-Lewis George, Elkton Town Administrator
"RBCs are not good for reducing nitrogen to the limits that our new permit would require.  The treatment of wastewater is so critical to the future of this, not only our community, but of the state of Maryland and the area in which we live, the Chesapeake Bay, the tributaries, etc., that was absolutely no question whatsoever to resist the need to build a plant that was much more effective than the one we had".

-Kelvin George, Consulting Engineer, GHD, Inc.
"The goals of this project, from inception, was to provide a system that one could treat down to very low nutrient levels, low nitrogen, very low phosphorous.  Also, a system that can handle high wet weather flow, we felt like the Orbal system fit all those requirements".

-Ken Benner, Wastewater Treatment Manager, Elkton, Maryland
"We have preliminary treatment ahead of the Orbal oxidation ditch, the raw wastewater goes through preliminary treatment, then all goes into the Orbal ditch.  The ditch is a three-channel ditch set-up for nitrification and denitrification.  The outer ditch, we achieve denitrification, and the middle and inner channel we achieve BOD removal and the nitrification.  Its basically to reduce the nitrogen that's going into the bay and which causes problems with algae, fish kills, and things like that".

-Kelvin George, Consulting Engineer, GHD, Inc.
"The Chesapeake Bay is the thrill of Maryland, from crabs to other aquatic life.  It's very important that the Chesapeake Bay be protected".

-Lewis George, Elkton Town Administrator
"We not only try to comply with the regulations that govern it, but we also try to comply with the quality that it provides for the environment in which we all live".

-Ken Benner, Wastewater Treatment Manager, Elkton, Maryland
"The old plant was plagued with odors and this new facility is odor free.  And I can't tell you how happy that makes the residents of this community".

-Kelvin George, Consulting Engineer, GHD, Inc.
"The plant is performing exceptionally well, the data that I've seen so far well exceeds the permit limits for this plant.  Total nitrogen levels of around 2 mg per liter, total phosphorous levels of less than .3".

-Ken Benner, Wastewater Treatment Manager, Elkton, Maryland
"Our cost savings in the facility is three-fold: reduced energy, reduced chemicals and solids handling reduction".

-Lewis George, Elkton Town Administrator
"We also have the ability to make, or keep, the levels of nitrogen, phosphorous and the other permittable substances through the wastewater stream process below our permitted requirements.  That allows us to continue to grow and develop and still meet regulatory compliance with the state of Maryland and the federal government.  This plant has been so successful that we've exceeded those goals consistently.  So we're very happy with the success of the Siemens process, there's no question about it".

More Information

Orbal Multichannel Oxidation System

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