Seeing The Need

Formation of WSSC

The Maryland General Assembly passed Chapter 313 of the Acts of 1916, a bill introduced by early WSSC proponents, Robert Morse and T. Howard Duckett.

This legislation appropriated $10,000 for studying and reporting on the need for water supply and sewerage systems, and ways to construct, maintain and operate them. The resulting report in 1918 recommended the surrounding counties collaborate on water supply and disposal of sewage due to their common sources of water and drainage basins. The report also included engineering plans for both water and sewer through 1940. Thanks to the State Department of Health’s chief sanitary engineer, Robert Morse, and his assistant, Harry Hall, the General Assembly passed legislation in 1918 to create the Washington Suburban Sanitary District, a bi-county jurisdictional utility.

Going Green

Chesapeake Bay

In order to protect the environmentally sensitive Chesapeake Bay, WSSC strives to go above and beyond the regulations and requirements. The WSSC Water Resource Recovery Facilities proudly hold numerous awards from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies.

square miles of land

rivers and streams

million people

Recycling Water

As WSSC General Manager and CEO Carla Reid describes it, WSSC is the oldest recycling company in the two counties. The water resource recovery facilities are recycling centers; receiving and treating wastewater for re-use before returning it downstream and providing clean water for customers.

“The water we discharge is cleaner than the water upstream,” said Brian Mosby, former superintendent at the Western Branch Water Resource Recovery Facility.

Alternative Energy Sources

WSSC has turned to solar, wind and hydropower to help generate energy for the energy-intensive processes of the plants. WSSC has set a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent every five years through the year 2030 using demonstrated technologies and practices. WSSC sees its environmental stewardship as not only creating benefits for the planet, but also an integral part of its business plan.
The cleaner the water basin and the healthier the environment, the less work is required by the water filtration plants to provide potable water. WSSC has increased efforts for external programs to help the public identify ways they can be environmentally friendly as well. All combined, WSSC is ranked the top local government organization using renewable energy and has lowered its carbon footprint by over 15 percent since 2005.
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Looking to the Future

Environmental Education

For more than 10 years, WSSC has served as an education partner with classroom programs, field trips, science fair judging and career day speakers to help develop the next generation of environmental stewards. WSSC’s environmental education teaches students and adults about their role in watershed protection.

Best Use of A Limited Resource

Plans are on the drawing board to build a new facility at the Piscataway Water Resource Recovery Facility (WRRF) in southern Prince George’s County to convert the biosolids into energy, also known as anaerobic digestion. These facilities consume considerable amounts of electricity and the process will help reduce the energy use, lower the plant’s carbon footprint and result in a final product listed as a Class A material that workers can spread over a wide range of land.

Best Use Of A Limited Resource

Employee at Piscataway Plant, 1978

Environmental Leader

Working in collaboration with elected officials, Maryland Department of the Environment, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and customers, WSSC continues to be an environmental leader in the industry. Environmental Stewardship remains a core value of the utility as evidenced in its operations and outreach activities. WSSC is dedicated to sustaining momentum with its use of alternative energy sources.
Through attention and expertise, in WSSC’s 100-year history, the utility has never had an EPA water quality violation.
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