Arlington Re-Gen: Investing in our Planet

water facility

Arlington Re-Gen: Investing in our Planet

By: Mary Strawn, Chief Engineer

Apr. 21, 2023

Happy Earth Month! Here at the Arlington Water Pollution Control Plant we treat more than 23 million gallons of wastewater each day from residences and businesses while protecting local waterbodies, including Four Mile Run, the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay. This month especially, we’re reminded of our unique role as environmental stewards.

We are rallying behind this year’s Earth Day theme— “Invest In Our Planet”— which highlights the importance of dedicating our time, resources, and energy to solving environmental challenges. Investing in our planet is necessary for its protection and paves the way toward a more prosperous future. To that end, we are investing in Arlington Re-Gen, which is a major capital improvement project that will improve sustainability by upgrading our solids processing facilities into a state-of-the-art operation.

While wastewater treatment can be energy-intensive, wastewater is also full of beneficial resources that we don’t want to waste. The Arlington Re-Gen program will help us improve our recovery of those resources, including renewable energy and a nutrient-rich soil amendment, that will allow us to achieve more sustainable outcomes. For example, the new processes will be net-energy positive – we will produce more energy in the form of renewable natural gas (RNG) than will be consumed through operation of the solids handling facilities. This will allow us to export RNG, reducing the County’s reliance on fossil fuels.

Here are some of the anticipated benefits once the upgrades are completed:

The upgrades have lead to a gas emission reduction of 4,290 metric tons per year and a 50% reduction in truck traffic

We would love to show you our facility and how we are working on sustainability for the environment and our future. Join us for a tour anytime between March and June or between September and December. Tours are approximately two hours and you may schedule one here. We also want to hear from you. If you have any questions please leave a comment here.