Clean Waterways

Page updated on Sep 7, 2018 at 3:54 PM
Eco-City Clean Waterways

Eco-City Clean Waterways is the City's initiative to manage the quality of our local streams, the Potomac River, and the Chesapeake Bay. Because good stewardship of our local waterways yields many public health, ecological, and recreational benefits, it is one of the guiding principles of our  Eco-City Alexandria Charter and a priority for the City under the  Eco-City Alexandria initiative.

Eco-City Clean Waterways affirms the City's commitment to promoting and protecting clean waterways for current and future generations of Alexandria residents by operating and maintaining two types of sewer systems, which discharge to our waterways through permitted outfalls for combined sewage, stormwater, and treated sanitary sewage.



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Stormwater runoff occurs when rain or snowmelt flows over the ground. Hard surfaces, like roofs, driveways, parking lots, and streets prevent stormwater from naturally soaking into the ground. If not managed properly, stormwater runoff can create stormwater pollution and/or flooding issues.


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In line with the City’s Eco-City Clean Waterways initiative, Green Infrastructure (GI) is an approach to reduce pollution in stormwater runoff. A few examples of GI include bioretention filters and rain gardens, permeable pavements, and tree boxes. Many of these features can be used along existing urban streets and sidewalks.


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Alexandria has one of the earliest combined sewer systems in the country, dating back to the 1800s. When too much rain flows into the system, which serves 5 percent of Alexandria in the historic Old Town area, it overflows into local waterways at four outfalls. The City continues to work aggressively to reduce such overflows.


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Alexandria Renew Enterprises (AlexRenew) is the independent public entity that collects and treats wastewater from the City and parts of Fairfax County, and the City's partner in improving the quality of our local waterways.


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RiverRenew is a solution to address Alexandria’s combined sewer overflows (CSOs) in order to meet legislation to improve water quality in Hooffs Run, Hunting Creek and the Potomac River. The legislation requires that CSOs from all combined sewer outfalls in the City be addressed by July 1, 2025. 



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