Letters to the Editor
Vol. 9, No. 27
July 5-11, 2001
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Pave Parking Permeably

Dear Bay Weekly:

How can I get in touch with a member of the Deale-Shady Side Small Area Planning Committee, please? I wish to share an article about permeable paving used in the United Kingdom for their parking lots. I’m sure this would be something our planners would like to know when businesses decide to cover our community with more tarmac.

If you would like to see the information from the ‘Net, here’s the address: www.tmac.clara.net/

I’m sure there are other types of permeable paving, but for now, learning about this one is a start.

- LB Walker, Shady Side

Editor’s reply: With its work done, the committee is disbanded. Citizen-planners, however, remain interested in the future of our communities. The chair was Ron Wolfe, of Deale.

Wastewater Treatment Update

Dear Bay Weekly:

I was reading your editorial “Thinking Big (Bucks) While Fighting Chesapeake’s Silent Killer” [Vol. IX, No. 25: June 21-27]. You stated that only one in four wastewater treatment plants has the capability of removing nitrogen and phosphorus. I’m pretty certain this statistic is incorrect.
Maybe only one in four has a special process directed at secondary nutrient removal, but I’m fairly certain that all wastewater treatment plants provide some nitrogen and phosphorus removal by the removal of solids by settling, and through filtration, while I think what you are referring to is BNR, biological nutrient reduction.

Also, and this is a mistake I commonly make as well out of habit, I believe the term is phosphorus, not phosphorous (see respective definitions on dictionary.com)

Good article, though.

-William Beisch, Environmental Engineer, wbeisch@cblad.state.va.us

Editor’s note: Mr. Beisch is right on both scores: Only one wastewater treatment plant in four makes significant reductions in total nitrogen to levels that have a major salutary ecological impact.

Phosphorous is an adjective meaning “containing phosphorus.” For more on the subject, read on.

We’re Losing the Battle to Restore the Bay

Dear Bay Weekly:

Nice piece on nitrogen “Thinking Big (Bucks) While Fighting Chesapeake’s Silent Killer” [Vol. IX, No. 25: June 21-27]. We just keep piling people and infrastructure in with no regard for the future. It won’t stop if we don’t stop, regardless of all our partnership, politics and restoration efforts.

Even modern biological nutrient reduction removals by very advanced plants like Blue Plains can only reach about 3mg per liter and this is (very roughly) still double the maximum levels of nitrogen Bay life might have encountered in the last century. That’s still too much to restore the Bay, and we’re losing the battle to even hold the line.

- Kent Mountford, Ph.D., Estuarine Ecologist and Environmental Historian, Lusby

We welcome your letters and opinions. We will edit when necessary. Include your name, address and phone number for verification. Mail them to Bay Weekly, P.O. Box 358, Deale, MD 20751 E-mail them to us at editor@bayweekly.com.

Copyright 2001
Bay Weekly