City of Alexandria Announces Progress on Combined Sewer Outfall Remediation

 

The City of Alexandria continues to make progress toward remediating its four combined sewer outfalls, and is on track to comply with a 2017 state law requiring that work on the outfalls be completed by July 1, 2025.

Since 2017, City staff have been working continuously on the preliminary engineering and planning necessary to accelerate the megaprojects. Work has included sizing the infrastructure, identifying required permits and land or easement acquisition, and updating the Long Term Control Plan required to be filed with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.  The Plan will include an implementation schedule to meet the 2025 deadline.

To most effectively address the combined sewer system, the City has partnered with Alexandria Renew Enterprises (AlexRenew).  As the local wastewater authority, AlexRenew is an independent public entity with a proven track record of delivering complex water infrastructure projects for more than 60 years. This partnership leverages the expertise and resources that both AlexRenew and the City bring to the planning and implementation process, and is likely to result in the City transferring ownership of the four outfalls to AlexRenew.

Staff from both entities have met regularly within their project team as well as with key community stakeholders to accelerate the existing timetable for remediation. This stakeholder group provided meaningful input on options that will meet the legislative requirement while being mindful of cost, schedule, and community impacts.

Beginning March 23, the Long Term Control Plan will be available on the City’s website for a 30-day public comment period. The public is invited to view the plan and submit comments online. The comment period ends April 22.

Community members will also have an opportunity to provide in-person feedback at a public meeting on April 5, from 7 to 9 p.m., at AlexRenew (1800 Limerick St.). The City and AlexRenew will present the draft plan and solicit feedback.

While 95 percent of Alexandria is served by separate sewer systems for stormwater and sewage, the remaining 5 percent is served by a combined sewer system. When too much rain flows into the system, it overflows into local waterways at four outfalls. Alexandria has one of the earliest combined sewer systems in the country, dating back to the early 1800s. More than 800 cities nationwide have similar systems, including neighboring outfalls that overflow into the Potomac River. Remediation projects require the planning, design, and construction of massive infrastructure projects to significantly reduce sewer overflows.

For more information about the combined sewer system remediation projects, visit alexandriava.gov/CleanWaterways.