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WSSC Water recognizes that many of the communities we serve are income-constrained and that access to safe drinking water and superior wastewater services are fundamental human rights. To that end, we steadfastly focus on ensuring all aspects of our operations are economically and environmentally sustainable and have the least impact.

Explore how we conserve resources, support environmental justice for all, and operate in an environmentally responsible way by:

  • Investing in income-constrained communities;
  • Working with residents to ensure that our projects meet their needs; and
  • Using the latest technologies to reduce our environmental impact.

Climate Change 

  • renewable energy
    Renewable Energy and Adaptation
  • energy efficiency
    Energy Efficiency and Conservation
  • bioenergy
    Bioenergy
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To take action to address the threat of Climate Change we completed a comprehensive Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment Adaptation and Mitigation Plan (CCVAAMP) in 2020. In addition, to reduce our carbon emissions and manage our energy needs as responsible environmental stewards, we developed a Green House Gas action plan for lowering our carbon emissions by 50 percent between 2005 and 2030, and a more recent commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 100 percent by 2050.

Learn More
 

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By replacing inefficient pumps and aeration blowers and performing other upgrades at our facilities, we have saved roughly $1.6 million, and the energy needed by 1,656 homes annually.

Replacing fluorescent lighting with LED lighting across all our facilities saves our customers $545,000 per year.

 

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The Piscataway Bioenergy Project will transform how WSSC Water handles biosolids - the nutrient-rich organic materials produced by the wastewater treatment process. Once the project is complete, in approximately November 2024, we will convert the biosolids into a nutrient-rich fertilizer as well as methane gas that will be upgraded to Renewable Natural Gas and used to power Ride On buses in Montgomery County.

Operations

  • local community
    Reducing Impact on Local Community
  • green bonds
    Green Bonds
  • process optimization
    Process Optimization
  • paperless process
    Paperless Processes
  • Environmental Education
    Environmental Education
  • material management
    Material Management
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We must ensure that managing the network of pipes moving water around our service area and other assets does not overburden our customers. Our asset management program helps minimize costs associated with physical assets while delivering the service levels WSSC Water has committed to providing at an acceptable level of risk.

Read more in our Capital Improvements Program

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Since December 2019, WSSC Water has been issuing Green Bonds to finance projects that will improve the environment in our service area. 

To be eligible for the Green Bond proceeds, the projects must meet criteria in one or more of the following areas:

  • Green buildings

  • Pollution prevention and control

  • Renewable energy

  • Water quality

  • Climate change adaptation

Learn more

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Our Seneca Water Resource Recovery Facility won the Water Environment Federation’s Project Excellence Award in 2022 for successfully implementing new treatment methods that reduce energy and chemical costs associated with removing nitrogen and phosphorous. This process decreases our carbon footprint and saves customers approximately $575,000 a year.

Learn more about plant optimization.

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We recognize that environmental stewardship involves all natural resources, not just water. To ensure we are good stewards of our forests, we have adopted numerous paperless processes, including DocuSign, ePermitting, and eBills.

Doing so saved over 250 trees or about 2.13 million sheets of paper in 2022.

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Our free environmental education programming reaches more than 2,500 school-aged children annually. Through partnerships with local school districts and environmental non-profit organizations, WSSC Water staff assist with the professional development of over 200 educators each year. Educators learn about issues facing local waterways, the importance of source water protection, and how to bring these topics into their classrooms.

Explore our education programs

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Managing waste responsibility is another way we strive to be good environmental stewards.

In 2022, we recycled over 495 tons of scrap metal, keeping this material out of local landfills and our sustainability services team finds ways to give office furniture and other durable goods a new home when they are no longer needed.

Water

  • source water protection
    Source Water Protection
  • water conservation
    Water Conservation
  • buoy
    Chesapeake Bay Health
  • construction
    Construction Site Inspections
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To provide a reliable drinking water supply, WSSC Water must protect our water sources: The Potomac and Patuxent rivers. We have formed partnerships with regulatory and administrative agencies to protect these rivers. This allows us to participate in discussions related to land use policy, promote source water protection, and raise awareness about water quality and safety.

You can help protect our sources of drinking water by:

  • Picking up litter and placing it in covered trash or recycling bins

  • Using fertilizers and pesticides sparingly

  • Washing your car at a car wash, not in your driveway or street

  • Keeping leaves out of storm drains

  • Using road salt sparingly during winter weather

  • Picking up after your pet

  • Planting ground cover to prevent erosion of bare soil on your property

  • Never hosing spilled automotive fluids into the street where they will run into the storm drain

Learn more about source water protection

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Identifying leaking pipes before they become a major break is part of our water conservation efforts and a smart business solution that saves time and money. Since these pipes are underground, technology helps us to find leaks.

Our satellite-based leak detection program analyzes 1,000 miles of water mains annually to identify potential leaks. In the program’s first year, FY21, we found 854 points of interest and 170 leaks from those points of interest.

The ongoing real-time monitoring of 110 miles of our Pre-stressed Concrete 36” transmission mains using Acoustic Fiber Optic (AFO) cable technology has enabled WSSC Water to prevent ten major water main breaks.

Find leaks at home to prevent water loss and high bills.

Check out water conservation tips to reduce your bills.

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WSSC Water's six water resource recovery facilities treat an average of 70 million gallons of wastewater each day. Thanks to our advanced treatment processes, the water we return to local waterways is of higher quality than the water we pull from the rivers at the beginning of the water filtration process.

Learn more about our wastewater treatment process.

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Our Environmental Programs Section ensures we do our construction activities in a way that protects the local environment by annually:

  • Conducting about 2,000 erosion and sediment control inspections on underground utility construction sites

  • Issuing about 300 erosion and sediment control plan approvals and permits

  • Issuing 350 roadside tree permit authorizations for tree removals and replanting

  • Conducting 100 hazardous conditions screenings for possible site contamination for water systems extension projects.

maryland green registry

 

Contact Us

If you have a question or comment about WSSC Water’s Environmental Stewardship Programs, email us at gogreen@wsscwater.com.
 

Last Modified: February 8, 2024, 8:45 am EST