More dirty details have emerged in the county’s $175 million plan to start using sewage for consumer-friendly fertilizer and renewable energy.
The first step is a $32 million budget authorization, set to be considered by the Arlington County Board this Saturday, to begin new upgrades the Arlington County Water Pollution Control Plant.
The county says the upgrades are overdue. The plant currently relies on solids handling processes that date back to the 1950s through 1990s. Irritating fumes sometimes force staff to use respirators, according to a county report.
“The facilities that thicken, store, dewater, and stabilize the residuals are beyond their useful life and break down frequently,” the report says.
All that is supposed to change.
Better sludge storage tanks, improved odor control systems and anaerobic digesters all play a role in the county’s plans to turn sewage into fertilizer and harness the natural gas byproduct for energy. Additionally, while Arlington sewage byproducts already fertilize agricultural land elsewhere in the state, better equipment will make it possible to either sell the county’s biosolids as a retail product or make them available to residents.
“The upgraded processes will produce a higher quality biosolids product as well as renewable natural gas, which will reduce the County’s dependence on fossil fuels,” according to the report.
Arlington wouldn’t be the first municipality to sell its processed sewage to consumers. Anyone who enriches their garden or lawn using the fertilizer brand Milorganite does so using treated sewage from Milwaukee.
The county is budgeting $175 million for all the upgrades and changes, plus an additional $23 million in soft costs, bringing the total budget to nearly $200 million.
The bulk of the funding comes out of $510 million in bonds that Arlington voters approved in 2022. This project is part of a host of initiatives, upgrades and maintenance projects that make up the county’s 2023-32 Capital Improvement Plan.
Staff have discussed the project with community members since 2015, the county report notes. People near the Water Pollution Control Plant, near the Arlington-Alexandria border and west of Route 1, have raised concerns about noise and vibrations that construction might cause, as well as possible emissions.
The county has pledged to use techniques to minimize impacts on the neighborhood when possible, per the report. Following stakeholder concerns, the county also nixed plans to burn the biogas byproduct to generate electricity onsite. It will instead clean and inject the resulting natural gas directly into the Washington Gas pipeline.
Photo via Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services/Flickr
Good Wednesday evening, Arlington. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier today…
Three years into his tenure as Penrose Neighborhood Association president, Alex Sakes can proudly say he got a grocery store to corral its shopping carts roaming Columbia Pike.
Local news is a tough business, especially in 2024. The recent, unfortunate closure of DCist illustrates how fragile of a thing it is. ARLnow has sustained our commitment to online-only…
An Arlington firefighter noted for his problem-solving ability, passion for the community and conspicuous moustache has received statewide recognition. Lieutenant Henry Spencer was just named Virginia Firefighter of the Year,…
Dreaming of small-town charm with big-city convenience? Look no further than 7156 Main St in Clifton, Virginia! Nestled just 30 miles from the heart of Washington D.C., this picturesque property offers the best of both worlds.
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city to find tranquility in this quaint, historic town. With its tree-lined streets and friendly community atmosphere, Clifton is the perfect place to call home. Yet, with its close proximity to the nation’s capital, you’ll never be far from the excitement and opportunities of urban living.
Imagine weekends exploring local shops, dining at charming cafes, and enjoying outdoor adventures in nearby parks. Then, commute to D.C. for work or play, soaking in all the culture, entertainment, and career opportunities the city has to offer.
Don’t miss your chance to own a piece of this idyllic lifestyle. Schedule a tour of 7156 Main St today and experience the best of small-town living near a big city!
Spring will be here before you know it, and art classes are a terrific way to welcome the season. We have some fresh new classes such as hand-building vases and flower arranging. Also on our roster are crocheting, knitting, printmaking, stitching, and sewing. Of course, you can’t go wrong with the basics: watercolor painting, gouache, oil painting, ceramics (including the wheel), sculpture, collage, drawing, and more. Classes start the week of April 1 and range from 3 to 7 weeks.
If you haven’t discovered Art House 7, this is a great time to check us out! We offer classes, workshops, open studios, and Art Nights throughout the year, as well as summer camps. We recently expanded our studio, and you can buy art supplies next door. We’re near the Lee Harrison shopping center, and free parking is outside our door. Ages 2 to adult.
5537 Langston Blvd., Arlington VA 22207
Whenever we feel indecisive, it’s usually because different parts of ourselves see things differently and are motivated by different priorities and concerns. In fact, it’s usually the friction between these different “camps” that makes us feel stuck.
We can mediate