The Atlantic Cities' John Metcalfe recently took a tour of the Water Pollution Control Plant in South Arlington and put together a photo slideshow that follows wastewater from flushing to fountain.
"In a coup of journalistic planning, last Friday I asked [Frank] Corsoro to guide me around the plant on the year's hottest day yet in Washington, D.C. The stink, in the 104-degree heat, was remarkably not so abysmal. At worst it resembled the foul bouquet of a heap of feces from every animal in the zoo, but on average it smelled like the ocean on a poor-water-quality day or the C&O Canal on any day. We didn't gag even once."
The plant treats nearly 30 million gallons of wastewater each day, mostly from Arlington but also from nearby Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church, according to the county's website.
A major $568 million renovation is in its final stages, with landscaping improvements expected to be complete by this summer.
To schedule your own tour, contact Scheryl Price at 703-228-6874.