Former MetCom Executive Director and current Grants Administrator, Larry Petty is credited with securing the grant. (Submitted photo)
LEONARDTOWN, Md. (July 20, 2016)—The St. Mary's County Metropolitan Commission (MetCom), has been awarded a grant from the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) to upgrade its methane gas co-generation system at the Marlay-Taylor Treatment Facility. The $945,000 grant will be used for engineering design, construction and start-up services related to the upgrade.
According to David Elberti, MetCom Chief Engineer, the co-generation facility has not performed up to its optimal operational efficiency since start-up in 2011 and system maintenance has been higher than initially anticipated. The goals of the proposed upgrade, funded by the grant, are to improve the quality of methane gas which powers the generators and target ways to enhance system performance along with maintenance reduction.
The co-generation process captures methane gasses which are a by-product of wastewater treatment. The gasses are then converted to electric energy to help power the plant and produce hot water that is reused in the treatment process thereby reducing the demand on the oil fired boiler. Increased use of both co-generation process by-products, electricity and hot water, will bring down the facilities costs.
MetCom Executive Director Scott Bundy stated that he was pleased that the grant was awarded and credited a long-time employee for securing it. "This grant would not have happened if it were not for former Executive Director and current Grants Administrator, Larry Petty." Petty came to MetCom in 1981 as Executive Director following a distinguished career in the United States Navy. After leaving the Executive Director post in 1994, Petty became MetCom's Grants Administrator.
"Larry has informed us that he is retiring this year after 35 years with MetCom," Bundy said. "This grant is one heck of a way to leave with a bang."
Marlay-Taylor is Metcom's largest treatment facility serving the Lexington Park area and Patuxent Naval Air Station, Great Mills, California and areas as far away as St. George Island, Piney Point, Callaway and St. Mary's College. Average daily flow to the plant is approximately 4.2 million gallons.