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The Maryland Department of Environment (MDE) uses the revenue from the Bay Restoration Fund (BRF) commonly referred to as the "flush tax," to fund improvements to water resource recovery facilities owned by utilities throughout the state, including WSSC Water. The upgrades primarily reduce nitrogen and phosphorus pollution into the Chesapeake Bay.

Effective July 1, 2012, the State Legislature doubled the BRF Fee to an average of $15 per quarter or $60 per year for each home served by a water resource recovery facility. This quarterly fee is based on the days in the billing cycle. Commercial account fees are calculated based on “equivalent dwelling units,” or EDU’s.  For more information, please contact the MDE.

Financial Hardship Exemption Guidance

WSSC Water offers the Bay Restoration Fund Financial Hardship Exemption Program approved by MDE. To qualify for the exemption, customers must be certified by the Office of Home Energy Programs or meet at least 2 of these 4 criteria:

  • Received assistance from the WSSC Water Water Fund within the last 12 months
  • Received public assistance or food stamps
  • Received Veteran’s Disability or Social Security Disability benefits
  • Meet required income criteria based on current tax return

To request a Bay Restoration Fund Fee Exemption, please complete and mail this Exemption Application (English) | Exemption Application (Español) with your supporting documentation to: 

WSSC Water Customer Service
14501 Sweitzer Lane
Laurel, MD 20707

Additionally, you may fax the information to 301-206-7013 or email to

Questions regarding the exemption program should be directed to WSSC Water Customer Service between 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. by calling 301-206-4001 or by sending an email to


The Bay Restoration Fund was passed on May 26, 2004, in part, because of the Chesapeake Bay’s steady decline in water quality due to over-enrichment of nutrients (mainly phosphorus and nitrogen). The runoff from wastewater treatment plants is one of the top three major contributors of nutrients entering the Bay. The Bill (SB 320) was created so that wastewater treatment plant users can finance the upgrade of Maryland’s wastewater treatment plants with enhanced nutrient removal technology.

WSSC Water was tasked with billing the fee to both commercial and residential accounts as a separate line item on customer bills. WSSC Water collects the fee and turns the funds over to the State of Maryland to administer.

Last Modified: June 30, 2023, 1:12 pm EDT