Water Sector News

A snapshot of clean water stories from publications around the country, updated daily!

DC water treatment plant powers up for cleaner energy

Jun 30, 2022

Clean water and clean energy sound like they should work in tandem. But at the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant — the largest such facility in the world, located on the banks of the Potomac River — it’s not always that simple.

Wastewater treatment requires a lot of energy. Some smaller facilities have been able to generate all of their electricity onsite or acquire it from carbon-neutral sources. But the greater level of treatment required by wastewater plants in the Chesapeake Bay watershed requires more power, making it harder to reach sustainability goals.


Blue Plains covers 175 acres at the southern tip of the District of Columbia. Operated by DC Water, the plant removes pollutants from wastewater to meet some of the strictest federal limits in the country before discharging it to the Potomac River, which flows into the Bay.

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