County Receives Governor's Environmental Excellence Award
May 11, 2010
Fairfax County's Wastewater Management Program recently received a 2010 Governor's Environmental Excellence Award for its community outreach efforts, including a program for high school students. The county was one of only 20 award recipients statewide, and was recognized with a bronze medal in the Environmental Programs category.
This annual award recognizes environmental and conservation leaders in the state, including individuals, businesses, governments and public-private partnerships. Awards are given out in three categories: Environmental Projects, Environmental Programs and Land Conservation.
As part of its outreach program, WastewaterManagementstaff conduct a science lab with Fairfax County high school teachers, and they offer tours at the county’s wastewater treatment plant.
The Sewer Science Program educates students about pollution and how to prevent it from entering local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay. Since 2005, 8,309 students from 21 high schools have participated. Through this program, four students also worked at the county’s Wastewater Laboratory on associated science projects and for the first time, a high school science teacher interned at the laboratory over the summer.
To demonstrate how wastewater is treated, public tours of the Noman M. Cole Jr. Pollution Control Plant are offered. On average, the plant conducts approximately 25 tours to about 800 people per year, including to students, foreign delegations, civic groups and scouts.
As part of the tour, participants learn how the plant removes more than 99 percent of pollutants from 45 million gallons of wastewater daily. Federal rules strictly control more than 100 substances that are present in wastewater. The plant’s achievement helps protect the water quality of the county’s streams and watersheds, as well as the Chesapeake Bay.
For 11 years in a row, the plant has been recognized for meeting federal pollution control standards 100 percent of the time. Only nine wastewater treatment plants nationwide have received this recognition from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies.
In an approved sewer service area that covers nearly 234 square miles, the county’s Wastewater Management Program maintains approximately:
- 3,300 miles of sanitary sewer lines
- 59 permanent sewage flow meters
- 10 temporary sewage flow meters
- 65 pumping stations
- 299 sewage grinder pumps
More than 85 percent of the 325,000 households and virtually all businesses in the county are connected to public sewers.
For more information, contact the Office of Public affairs, at 703-324-3189, TTY 711.
Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director, Office of Public Affairs
703-324-3189, TTY 711, Media Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)
To request this information in an alternate format, call 703-324-3187, TTY 711