SNOW HILL — Worcester County and the town of Ocean City have entered into a 40-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will allow the county to discharge effluent on town property and Ocean City to attach to much needed county water and sewer.
It’s a win-win for both sides and a project that has been in the works for a long time, said Sonny Bloxom, county attorney. The county and the town each have a need that the other can address.
In the case of Worcester the need is two-fold. The commission has been seeking a reliable way to reuse the treated wastewater effluent being discharged from the Mystic Harbour facility.
“The issue for the county is that the county is trying to get out of using the injection wells,” said Bloxom. “That’s really not the best way to dispose of effluent.”
Ocean City is offering to allow the county to “store and spray irrigate” that effluent through the irrigation system on the town-owned Eagle’s Landing Golf Course, which is close to Mystic Harbour. The second service that the county will receive through the MoU is permission to channel some waste flow from Mystic Harbour through a West Ocean City pipe into the resort for treatment. This will mostly be done in the winter when the flow from West Ocean City is very light.
Ocean City also stands to benefit from the arrangement. As part of the MoU, the county will be responsible for replacing the spray irrigation system at Eagle’s Landing and will have to maintain that system at the best available technology if officials wish to re-new the contract in 40 years.
“Their spray irrigation system at the golf course is pretty much reaching its useful life right now and is going to have to be replaced at an over $1 million cost,” Bloxom said.
The deal will also allow several Ocean City properties near Mystic Harbour to attach to county water and sewer. This is a big benefit for the resort as some of their current systems are failing, necessitating expensive and time consuming upkeep that will be eliminated once they’re connected to the county.
“Right now, they are servicing their buildings at the airport and golf course with wells for water and septic systems for their sewage,” said Bloxom. “One of their septic systems has gone up and they’ve had to pump and haul. It’s an expensive thing to do on a regular basis. So we would hook water up to them for their buildings.”
It will fall to the county to run wastewater lines to town property for the Eagle’s Landing and the adjacent town owned humane society. Ocean City will be responsible for laying lines to connect the town airport to the county system.
The County Commissioners unanimously accepted the MoU.