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.
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.
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
Looking to the Future
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.