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Cecilton opens $3.4 million wastewater treament plant
By Sonia Dasgupta
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Published: Wednesday, December 31, 2008 5:06 AM CST
After almost a decade of planning and construction, Cecilton's new wastewater treatment plant is up and running, according to town officials.

The town built the $3.4 million plant to meet standards set by Maryland Department of the Environment to plan for the estimated population growth in the county.

Town Administrator Brenda Cochran said the town received $1.9 million in grants, including about $1.78 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service.
Cecilton's old plant, built in 1971, used a physical biological treatment process to reduce pollution and made use of an aerated lagoon, according to Cochran.

It was only permitted to treat an average of 50,000 gallons per day and discharged into the Black Duck Creek.

Despite upgrades made in 1986 and 1994, the town determined it must build a new plant to meet MDE standards to decrease nitrogen pollution.

The new plant will able to treat a daily flow of 175,000 gallons, Mayor John Bunnell said.

"We're only currently using a little less than half of that amount," Bunnell said.

Although the plant is located in the same area as the old plant, it works with a sequential batch reactor, he said, which means it can treat the wastewater at twice the rate.

"It's been fully operational since about two weeks ago," Bunnell said. "We're far beyond what the code requires."

He said the new plant can easily be added onto if necessary in the future.

Cochran said there will be no new rate increases for users, other than the 2-percent rate increase per year that consumers have had since 2004.

However, new water and sewer connection fees have increased, raising the water connection fee to $5,100 and the sewer connection fee $8,160, she said.

Unlike other sewer plants, Cecilton did not have a stench associated with it, Bunnell said. The only difference residents will see is an actual building.

"I'm extremely happy about the way it turned out," he said. "It was a long process and I'm glad it has come to a close."
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