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

'Queen Of Crime' PD James Was A Master Of Her Craft

A remembrance of murder mystery writer PD James, who died Thursday at her home in Oxford, England.
NPR

For A Century, Thanksgiving's Must-Haves Were Celery And Olives

Ari Shapiro speaks with Boston Globe editor Hilary Sargent on the use of celery and olives as popular meal items during Thanksgivings of the past and their eventual fade from popularity.
NPR

EPA's Proposed Rules Add To Obama's Collision Course With GOP

The Environmental Protect Agency has drafted regulations on Ozone pollution. The latest move exposes divisions between the Obama administration and leading Republican lawmakers over the environment.
NPR

Millennial Doctors May Be More Tech-Savvy, But Is That Better?

Text messages from your doctor are just the start. Millennials are the next generation of doctors and they're not afraid to say "chillax" in a consultation or check Twitter to find medical research.

Leave a Comment

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