The state-of-the-art laboratory at the Noman
M. Cole Jr. treatment plant conducts approximately 100,000 analyses per
year in support of county environmental programs. The lab conducts all
permit, compliance and process optimization testing for the plant.
In addition, ecosystem monitoring is conducted in and around the receiving waters (Pohick Creek and Gunston Cove) for the treated wastewater effluent from the treatment plant. The monitoring program has been in place for 20 years and measures biological composition, abundance, species diversity and receiving water quality. Monitoring has identified larval alewifes upstream of the plant outfall. Alewifes (a species of herring) had not been observed here since before the plant was built in 1970. The superior wastewater treatment provided by the county has enabled the return of the alewife at this upstream location. The health of the ecosystem continues to be monitored and assessed to identify impacts and trends and allowing management decisions to be adjusted accordingly. Maintaining a healthy water environment allows for the enjoyment of boating, fishing, water skiing and wind surfing in Gunston Cove.
For more information, call Wastewater Treatment at 703-550-9740, TTY 711.