Biological Nutrient Removal Program

  • Funding Applications Accepted December thru January Annually

The Biological Nutrient Program (BNR) funds are targeted to publicly owned wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and provides funds to retrofit or upgrade WWTPs with biological nitrification/denitrification facilities to achieve a goal of annual average effluent concentration of 8 mg/l total nitrogen. The BNR upgrade is generally undertaken along with Enhanced Nutrient Removal upgrade using Bay Restoration Fund grant funding.

Project Selection Process

Projects are rated and ranked based on the Integrated Project Priority System (IPPS).  Projects must conform to Smart Growth Criteria and must be consistent with the County Water and Sewer Plan. The costs associated with plant expansion are not eligible.


The Program provides capital grant funds on a 50/50 cost-share basis for eligible costs of BNR upgrade at publicly-owned WWTPs. Small low-income communities may receive up to 75% BNR grant for elibible costs.  Eligible costs include engineering & pilot study, design, and construction costs. Funds are provided on a reimbursable basis after a payment request is made for eligible project costs. MDE also provides low interest loans to local governments to finance the local cost of implementing BNR facilities at WWTPs, as well as to finance the other costs associated with plant upgrade or expansion consistent with Smart Growth. Other State, local, or federal funds, may be used as local match.


For more information, please contact Elaine Dietz at (410) 537-3908.​