City of Alexandria Receives New Combined Sewer System Permit

Page archived as of November 19, 2015

City of Alexandria Receives New Combined Sewer System Permit

The City of Alexandria has received its Combined Sewer System permit for the next five years.  In 2011, the City applied to Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) for its Virginia Pollution Discharge Elimination Permit, which regulates discharges from the City’s Combined Sewer System (CSS).  The Combined Sewer System, which is now contemplated to be substantially improved, is a legacy infrastructure built in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and is a combination of storm and sanitary sewer systems serving approximately 540 acres in Old Town.  

As part of the City’s Eco-City Alexandria initiative, and in coordination with VDEQ, this new permit ensures regulatory requirements will be met and the environment is protected.  Under the permit negotiated by the City with VDEQ, the City will be updating its Long Term Control Plan (LTCP) over the next three years, and then implementing major additional control projects to improve water quality in Hunting Creek, the Potomac River, and the Chesapeake Bay. 

The LTCP, which will identify the strategy, projects, schedule, additional infrastructure investments and long-term impacts on the community, will be implemented in phases and be completed no later than 2035.  In addition to developing the LTCP, the permit also requires the City to implement several important construction projects which will reduce discharges from the CSS within the five-year permit cycle.  These projects are needed to improve the system, while continuing to reduce environmental impacts.

The City has already begun and will continue to start planning and implementation of several new and expanded initiatives required under the new permit, including the following:

  • Update the LTCP within three years from the issuance of the permit. 
  • Implement projects such as the separation of sanitary flows in the West Old Town area of the  City.
  • Develop and execute green infrastructure pilot projects within the CSS.
  • Continue implementing the CSS Area Reduction Plan, which requires developers to separate sewers in the CSS as redevelopment occurs.

The City of Alexandria encourages residents to participate in public process for the development of Long Term Control Plan Update. For more information on the City’s Combined Sewer System, visit or contact Kathleen Leonard, Public Information Officer, at 703.746.4025 or