DC Wastewater to get Cleaner | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

DC Wastewater to get Cleaner

Play associated audio

By Sabri Ben-Achour

D.C. holds its wastewater treatment plant up as the largest and most advanced in the world.

And it pumps out millions of pounds of nutrient pollution into the bay, but that's changing.

Blue Plains, as it's called, can process a billion gallons of wastewater in a day.

It's a lot of water, and it has to go back into the Potomac from where it came.

But with it goes nitrogen -- 8.5 million pounds of it every year.

Nitrogen is one of the nutrients that causes algae blooms and dead zones in the Bay where nothing can live.

And this one plant is responsible for more than 3% of the nitrogen runoff in the entire bay.

But the EPA is setting a new limit for the plant, it'll need to cut it's nitrogen pollution by half, down to just under 4 million pounds a year by 2014.

The plant is well on track to do that, it's already started upgrades and is ahead of schedule.

In total, it's upgrades - including a revamp of the city's sewer systems - will cost nearly $4 billion, shared between Maryland, D.C., Virginia, and the Federal Government. This upgrade itself - to reduce nutrient pollution - will cost $900 million.

NPR

A 19th Century Novel Explains Quantitative Easing

This week, the Federal Reserve ended the quantitative easing program. Author John Lanchester says Anthony Trollope's 19th century novel The Way We Live Now clarifies the current financial situation.
NPR

Cash For Halloween Candy? Dentists' Buyback Program Is Booming

If you're like many parents, by tomorrow morning you'll be facing a candy glut. One possible solution? Sell it to a dentist participating in a program that sends candy care packages to troops.
NPR

In New Hampshire, Two Different Tales Of Scott Brown's State Jump

The very close U.S. Senate race in New Hampshire could come down to where Republican challenger Scott Brown is from.
NPR

After Mass Protests, Hungary Gives Up On Internet Tax

The government had proposed taxing Internet usage, but opponents claimed it the government was trying to impose a digital iron curtain on Hungary.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.