DC Water Continues Commitment to Chesapeake Bay

Recently, the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water) and United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) agreed to a new operating permit that will reduce the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant’s nitrogen emissions to an all-time low. The move is part of an effort to improve the state of the Potomac River and subsequently the Chesapeake Bay.

DC Water was the first company to comply with the Chesapeake Bay Program’s aim of reducing 1985 emission levels by 40 percent and continues to underscore its dedication to healthier waterways.

By reducing nitrogen emissions, local water plants limit the growth of algae, which is responsible for reducing oxygen levels in the water. The new limit, 4.7 million pounds of nitrogen, is almost half last year’s limit and will require the $950 million nitrogen removal facility DC Water has constructed if it is to be met.

Additionally, the updated operating permit sets new phosphorous, bacteria, and trash controls.

Last week, the Washington Post hailed the Potomac River as being “cleaner now than it has been in decades.” Clearly, DC Water believes there’s still room for improvement.


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