By Brian Gilliland
(Oct 24, 2014) Upgrades, promotions and a ceremonial unveiling all heralded the arrival of Worcester County’s newest general in the fight against effluent.
At Tuesday’s meeting before the Worcester County Commissioners were to cut the ribbon on the new plant upgrades, some additional tweaks were made. First, the Department of Public Works petitioned to add two new outflows: Eagle’s Landing golf course, and a connection – partially installed already — to the Ocean City wastewater treatment plant when capacity runs short. Second, the permitted flow is to be increased from 250,000 to 450,000 gallons per day.
The plant was originally conceived with the idea of running 450,000 gpd through the system, but to do that, there needed to be a plan in place for the treated waste. In compliance with the county’s comprehensive plan, which states that land application is the preferred method of disposal of treated wastewater, and after a memorandum of understanding between the county and town of Ocean City, Eagle’s Landing golf course was identified as the best spot for disposal.
During the off-season when the golf course irrigation system is inactive, the county will be able to redirect material to the West Ocean City sewer system. The golf course, humane society, the Ocean City Airport and a maintenance building will all be connected to the Mystic Harbour facility to eliminate septic systems.
Once operational, these policies will remove the need for the current solution: groundwater injection wells. The wells are approved for 250,000 gpd and aren’t as reliable as the new plans.
With the public input portion of the process behind them, the county could proceed with the scheduled ribbon-cutting and tours offered later that day. Dignitaries, candidates and incumbents along with about 50 well-wishers of all stripes gathered at the facility for a meet-and-greet and a hands-on explanation of the new plant.