Our wAAter is a program to develop a balanced approach to achieving water quality goals in Anne Arundel County. Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works leads the program developed with guidance from the Maryland Department of Environment (MDE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Implementing this program will provide long-term benefits to protect our waterways and the Chesapeake Bay while also improving our groundwater supplies and water resiliency.

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What is Polluting Our Waterways?

Excessive nitrogen and phosphorus – from the fertilizer we use on lawns, gardens, and farms and from wastewater, septic systems, and stormwater runoff – hurt the Chesapeake Bay. Poor water quality in the Bay directly impacts public health by exposing our residents to harmful bacteria. It also causes an excess of algal blooms that create “dead zones,” areas depleted of oxygen, where fish and aquatic life are unable to live.

The Chesapeake Bay and the rivers, creeks, and streams that surround it are on a journey to recovery, but we must continue to reduce the pollution that impairs our water quality.

Graphic showing a healthy and polluted bay
So what are we going to do about it?

Our wAAter is Anne Arundel County’s program for achieving water quality guidelines established with guidance from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) while improving our groundwater supplies and water resiliency.

The program integrates five initiatives into one complete strategy:

Converting eligible communities from septic systems to publicly-owned water reclamation facilities operating at advanced treatment levels.

Upgrading the performance of privately-owned small wastewater treatment systems where possible.

Operating advanced regional water reclamation facilities at optimal performance levels to maximize pollution reduction beyond regulatory requirements.

Providing an uninterrupted supply of clean, safe drinking water.

Restoring streams and wetlands, and improving stormwater infrastructure.

It is our job is to restore the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay and protect our long-term drinking water supplies. Our wAAter is how we get there.