Washington DC- you’ve got a new and impressive building for Water and Sewer Services. The new and improved eco-friendly facility reflects a dedication to sustainable initiatives within the city and was designed using a never-before-used technology. Equipped with a new system which will harness DC Water’s wastewater as a source of thermal energy to condition the building, it is considered one of the lowest energy consuming buildings in the region. The facility will serve as an international model for innovation and resiliency in a water management facility. The architectural structure illustrates the hydrologic cycle of storm events – from rainfall to collection, to treatment, and then re-use. “Runnels” within the facility’s paving will be used for the purpose of channeling storm water directly from the building’s roof gardens to planted areas that are designed to remove pollutants from surface runoff. This new site will also allow people the view of the Anacostia River, creating an interactive and engaging platform.
DC Water is dedicated to keeping local waterways clean and safe. Interestingly, two skimmer boats have been consistently used for the purpose of removing the floating debris and trash which lead into the Potomac and Anacostia rivers. The skimmer boats pick up trash and debris from over 15 miles of shoreline and remove over 400 tons of floating debris and trash each year. DC Water continues to invest in restorative initiatives to reduce the amount of debris that reaches the waterways. This includes the use of dams to assist in this sustainable effort. Prior to the restoration of these dams, the DC Water skimmer boats were removing up to 100 tons of debris every month- over three times the amount of trash the boats remove now. Additionally, DC Water regularly cleans and maintains more than 25,000 catch basins, removing 23 tons of debris every day. Catch basins are used to catch debris and litter before they can enter a storm drain.
DC Water is going the extra mile to reduce combined-sewer overflows. The ongoing effort to improve the condition of the waterways will include sewer separations, construction of underground tunnels and the use of various green infrastructures.