The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized the St. Mary’s County Metropolitan Commission with a PISCES award for its Methane Power Co-Generation and Digester project at the Marlay-Taylor Water Reclamation Facility in Maryland. The reconstruction and improvement project, designed by the consulting firm of Dewberry, was noted for successfully minimizing methane emissions while reducing energy costs without a significant expansion onto previously undisturbed land.

The Marlay-Taylor Methane Power Co-Generation and Digester Upgrade project captures methane created during the wastewater treatment process and uses the gas to generate electricity for the treatment plant. The heat produced in the process is used in the digesters to aid in the production of additional methane.

The project involved reconstruction of the two primary anaerobic digester lids; repairs to the digester tanks; construction of new facilities to capture, clean, and store methane gas; and installation of two 165-kilowatt generators. The commission anticipates the project will supply approximately 25 percent of the plant’s electricity and meet 100 percent of the digester heat requirements.

The project was funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Maryland Clean Water State Revolving Fund. Dewberry served as design engineer for the project, with the Whiting-Turner Contracting Company as general contractor. The PISCES Award recognizes projects that advance EPA goals of performance and water quality protection.

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