The City of Alexandria is encouraging residents to participate in a process that will help bring long-term improvements to Alexandria’s sewer system infrastructure, improve water quality, and meet new regulatory requirements. In 2011, the City applied to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) for renewal of its Virginia Pollution Discharge Elimination Permit, which regulates the City’s Combined Sewer System (CSS). The system, a combination of storm and sanitary sewer systems, serves approximately 540 acres in Old Town.
As part of the City’s Eco-City Alexandria initiative, and in coordination with VDEQ, the draft permit ensures regulatory requirements are met and the environment is protected. Under the permit negotiated by the City with VDEQ, the City will update its Long Term Control Plan (LTCP) over the next three years, and implement additional projects to improve water quality in the Potomac River, Chesapeake Bay, and Hunting Creek. This future LTCP, which community residents and businesses will help the City develop, will identify the strategy, projects, schedule, additional infrastructure investments and long-term impacts on the community. These projects are often needed to address water quality issues caused by the combined sewer system discharges.
Mayor William D. Euille stated, “This is a major step in the City’s work to ensure continued progress toward improving water quality in the Potomac River, Chesapeake Bay, and Hunting Creek. It is vital to our environmental sustainability efforts and critical to improving and strengthening Alexandria’s water quality infrastructure.”
VDEQ will open the draft permit for public comment from July 12 to August 12. To provide comments to VDEQ directly, email Douglas.Frasier@deq.virginia.gov. Residents are also encouraged to provide public comment on the draft permit and process used to develop the LTCP at the City’s Environmental Policy Commission planned public hearing on Monday, August 5 at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall, 301 King St., in the Sister Cities Conference Room 1101. Comments may also be emailed to Lalit Sharma, Office of Environmental Quality Division Chief, at Lalit.Sharma@alexandriava.gov.
The City plans to implement new and expanded initiatives under the draft permit, including the following:
- Update the LTCP within three years from the issuance of the permit
- Develop and implement green infrastructure pilot projects within the CSS
- Continue implementation of the CSS Area Reduction Plan, which requires developers to separate sewers in the CSS as redevelopment occurs
- Implement construction projects to improve sewer system performance and water quality
For more information on the City’s Combined Sewer System, visit alexandriava.gov/Sewers.