D.C. Water To Cut Pollution From Wastewater Plant By Half | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

D.C. Water To Cut Pollution From Wastewater Plant By Half

Play associated audio
The Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant is the largest plant in the world. It has the capacity to treat 370 million gallons of sewage a day.
D.C. Water and Sewer Authority
The Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant is the largest plant in the world. It has the capacity to treat 370 million gallons of sewage a day.

The city, the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority, and federal agencies broke ground on the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant Tuesday.

Here's how it'll work: One set of bacteria will remove nitrogen from some of the 370 million gallons of waste the region flushes through the sewers to the plant each day. Another set of bacteria will bubble that nitrogen into the atmosphere in a non-polluting form. What's left of the waste is cooked to break it down further and sterilize it.

More bacteria feed on that, breaking it down even further and generating methane gas. The gas is used to power the plant.

George Hawkins, the head of D.C. Water, says the project will revolutionize operations at the plant.

"This is going to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, we'll have energy for the plant, and the amount of solids we truck off this site is gonna drop in half," says Hawkins.

The plant will also cover a third of it's own electricity needs and cut its nitrogen pollution in half.

"This is discharges that otherwise would go to the Potomac and from the Potomac right to the Chesapeake," says Hawkins.

D.C. Water says the upgrades, which will cost $1.4 billion dollars, will pay for themselves in 7 years. The cost of the improvement will be paid by ratepayers.

NPR

Why Are Theater Tickets Cheaper On The West End Than On Broadway?

In London, a matinee ticket for Matilda costs about $60; in New York, it's $137. What's going on? The West End has weaker unions and subsidized theater, while Broadway has amenities.
NPR

Why Your 'Small-Batch' Whiskey Might Taste A Lot Like The Others

A food blogger says dozens of distilleries are buying rye whiskey from a factory in Indiana and using it in bottles labeled "artisan."
NPR

House Approves $16 Billion Plan To Improve Health Care For Vets

The Senate is expected to pass the measure this week. It would expand government programs and provide funds for vets who unable to access VA services to see private doctors.
NPR

Can Pinterest Compete With Google's Search?

Pinterest has created a database of things that matter to humans. And with a programming team that's largely been hired away from Google, the company has begun offering what it calls "guided search."

Leave a Comment

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