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Wastewater Services
Responsibilities
The City of Bowie is responsible for collection and treatment of raw sewage within the city-owned service area. This area includes:
  • Bowie Forest
  • Buckingham
  • Chapel Forge
  • Derbyshire
  • Foxhill
  • Glenridge
  • Gradys Walk
  • Heather Hills
  • Idlewild
  • Kenilworth
  • Long Ridge
  • Meadowbrook
  • Overbrook
  • Rockledge
  • Somerset
  • Tulip Grove
  • Victoria Heights
  • Whitehall
  • Yorktown

All other areas of the city utilize the services of Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) for wastewater treatment.

Treatment Process
The Bowie wastewater treatment plant process an average of 2.2 million gallons of wastewater daily. Our plant was the first in the United States to utilize Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR). This is a natural treatment process that reduces the need for chemicals, while improving effluent quality. Our plant has won major environmental awards from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Maryland Municipal League. Scores of plants along the Atlantic Coast adopted this BNR process.

Major Upgrades
In late 2011, we completed a major upgrade to the wastewater treatment plant to incorporate Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR). The project cost was a little over 10 million dollars using about 8.5 million dollars of grant funding and a little more than 1.5 million dollars of low interest state loans.

This was a complete upgrade and has brought our plant to the current state-of-the-art in wastewater treatment. It has long been established that nitrogen and phosphorous are the two main pollutants in the Chesapeake Bay. They significantly increase certain types of algae that reduce oxygen levels in the Bay. As a result of this upgrade, we are now reducing nitrogen levels to less than 3 milligrams per liter and phosphorous to less then 0.3 milligrams per liter. In addition, we upgraded the final disinfection process to incorporate a system of ultraviolet lights. The previous process of using chlorine gas was an older technology and was expensive. And there is risk involved whenever handling chlorine gas. The new system provides final disinfection using ultraviolet light and eliminates the need for chlorine gas.

Sewer Problems
Sewer problems, such as backups at a manhole, sewer breaks, missing manhole covers in the above mentioned sections are the responsibility of the Utilities Division. Sewer backups within a home or business are the responsibility of the property owner and should be handled by a plumber. The city maintains only the sewer main lines.

Additional Information
For more information or for assistance, please contact the Public Works Department at 301-809-2344.