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We Recycle Nutrients

DC Water's Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant serves more than two million customers in the District, Virginia and Maryland and treats 384 million gallons of raw sewage on an average day.

One valuable product of wastewater treatment is what industry professionals refer to as biosolids. Biosolids are nutrient-rich organic materials produced from the treatment of sewage. When treated and processed, they can be recycled and used as a soil amendment to improve and maintain the soil on farms and gardens to help plants grow. Biosolids recycling protects the Chesapeake Bay by keeping nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous out of local waterways. It also helps local farmers by saving them money in fertilizer costs.

Nutrient Management

The Maryland Department of Environment and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality regulate and control the application of biosolids to land. Biosolids applicators carefully develop nutrient management plans for each site and submit their plans to their state agency for approval. These plans determine how biosolids are applied to each site.

A Winning Strategy for You and the Environment

DC Water is proud of our biosolids recycling program. To assist in this effort, DC Water has contracted with Maryland Environmental Service, an independent state agency specializing in water and wastewater treatment. MES provides support for our field inspection programs and public education efforts. Their staff provides the public with information about analyses of biosolids produced at the DC Water facility, quality assurance issues, contractor information and the delivery of material to our sponsoring sites. For more information, call 1-800-4RECYCLE, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

We invite you to learn more about DC Water's Biosolids Recycling Program. Please contact Chris Peot at 202-787-4329.

For information on DC Water's policies and procedures, you can download the Manual for Biosolids Use.