August 17, 2022

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Saturday, July 23, 2022

Marlay-Taylor Facility Is Open for Tours


Advanced Placement environment science students at Chopticon High School recently were able to tour the Marlay-Taylor Wastewater Reclamation Facility in St. Mary’s County, getting a detailed tour led by DuWayne Potter, the plant’s superintendent. The facility is operated by the St. Mary’s County Metropolitan Commission.

The 25 students spent an hour and a half at the facility, seeing the inner workings of the treatment process up close. The tour began with how the facility handles initial separation of inorganic material to the final release of wastewater treated for release into the Chesapeake Bay. The students’ discussion focused on the three processes of treatment: physical, biological, and chemical. Treatment of wastewater is an excellent example of how science, especially microbiology and chemistry, is applied to solve an everyday problem like waste disposal. Students on the tour gained better insight into the complicated science behind the processes that keep waste out of the waterways.

Class trips and individual tours are a great opportunity for St. Mary’s County citizens to see first-hand the physical, biological, and chemical processes of waste treatment from flush to finish. “Tours can be tailored to suit the needs and interests of a particular group,” Mr. Potter said.

The Marlay-Taylor facility re-opened for tours after about two years of heavy construction at the completion of a $39 million project to upgrade its enhanced nutrient removal, or ENR, process. The project was one of 64 treatment plants in the state required to become ENR compliant. It was funded in part by a grant from the Maryland Department of the Environment through the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund.

Marlay-Taylor is the largest treatment facility operated by MetCom, treating an average daily flow of about 4.2 million gallons and serving areas from Lexington Park to St. Mary’s College and St. George Island. To arrange a tour, contact MetCom Superintendent DuWayne Potter at [email protected] or by calling 301-737-7400, ext. 600.

To learn more about St. Mary’s County Metropolitan Commission, visit its Leader member page.

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