Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission

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WSSC Headquarters on Sweitzer Lane, Laurel

The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) is a nonprofit organization that provides safe drinking water and wastewater treatment for Montgomery and Prince George's Counties in Maryland except for a few cities in Montgomery County that continue to operate their own water facilities. It was established on May 1, 1918. It is the eighth largest water and wastewater utility in the United States. The WSSC serves about 1.8 million people in an approximately 1,000-square-mile (2,600 km2) area. It owns and manages about 10,000 miles (16,000 km) of water and sewer mains.[1]


A bi-county agency, WSSC has extensive regulatory functions. It promulgates and enforces the plumbing code for its jurisdiction as well as reviews and approves contract plans for extensions of water and sewer mains. The agency operates 3 reservoirs (plus shared access to a fourth reservoir), 2 drinking water filtration plants, and 6 wastewater treatment plants. It also collects wastewater which is treated at the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant (operated by DC Water) in Washington, D.C.[1]



* shared resource with Fairfax County Water Authority and Washington Aqueduct. Jennings Randolph Lake, operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is also shared by these water suppliers.

Drinking Water Filtration Plants[edit]

  • Patuxent
  • Potomac

Wastewater Treatment Plants[edit]

Plant Location Size* Discharges to
Damascus Damascus 1.5 mgd Magruder Branch
Hyattstown Hyattstown 20,000 gpd Little Bennett Creek
Parkway Bowie 7.5 mgd Patuxent River
Piscataway Accokeek 30 mgd Piscataway Creek
Seneca Germantown 20 mgd Great Seneca Creek
Western Branch Upper Marlboro 30 mgd Western Branch
Blue Plains (DC Water and Sewer Authority) Washington DC 169.9 mgd Potomac River

* mgd: million gallons per day; gpd: gallons per day.
WSSC allocation (total plant capacity is 370 mgd)


The WSSC is overseen by six commissioners, three from Montgomery County and three from Prince George's County. These commissioners are appointed by their respective county executives with the approval of the county councils. The day-to-day operations are the responsibility of a general manager/chief executive officer, who supervises a staff of over 1,700. The Commission's budget for Fiscal Year 2014 (which ends June 30, 2014) is $1.4 billion.[2] The agency headquarters offices are located in Laurel, Maryland.


  1. ^ a b Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission. Laurel, MD. "About WSSC." Accessed 2010-10-14.
  2. ^ WSSC. "Fiscal Year 2014 Approved Budget." July 1, 2013.

External links[edit]