Plan aims to help ease water runoff

June 11, 1996|By Consella A. Lee | Consella A. Lee,SUN STAFF

The state Board of Public Works has approved $132,000 to help control urban storm water runoff from a commercial-residential area within the Marley Creek Watershed near Glen Burnie.

The county's Hospital Storm Water Management Project calls for creation of a shallow marsh wetland and wildlife island on three-quarters of an acre at the corner of Hospital and Mountain Ridge drives.

"What we are trying to do is produce what you find in nature that takes care of runoff from creeks and streams, that removes pollutants before [they get] into the water," said Dennis McMonigle, the county project engineer.

It's really just a filtering system."

"The water, when it goes through a shallow marsh or planted area, has a chance to be taken up by the plants when its moving," said McMonigle.

Work on the project is scheduled to begin in March 1997 and be completed in June 1997.

Mehdi Majedi, Maryland Department of Environment project manager for capital programs, said the wetland plants will help remove phosphorus, nitrogen and sediment before they run into Marley Creek, a watershed that feeds into the Chesapeake Bay.

The runoff is believed to come from such sources as cars and chemical fertilizers used on lawns. The pollutants accelerate the growth of algae, which reduces the oxygen for fish, oysters and crabs.

About 20 percent of the pond will be incorporated into a micropool, which retains moisture, to catch sediment runoff. The remainder of the pond will be divided into low and high marsh zones.

The Glen Burnie project "is a retrofit" to the county's plans to dredge Marley Creek next year, said McMonigle. Marley Creek is so polluted that it has been closed to swimming since March 25, 1979, because of high levels of fecal coliform bacteria.

The Board of Public Works also approved $100,000 to protect 13 acres of salt marsh tidal wetlands at Snug Harbor on the Chesapeake Bay.

Pub Date: 6/11/96

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