Fairfax wastewater-treatment plant wins top score

The Noman M. Cole Jr. Pollution Control Plant again has been honored for excellence. (Fairfax County government)

Fairfax County’s wastewater-management program’s multi-year record of perfect compliance with its discharge permit is approaching two decades.

For the 19th consecutive year the Noman M. Cole Jr. Pollution Control Plant in Lorton has earned the Platinum Peak Performance Award from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies.

“It is a significant accomplishment, which fewer than a dozen of the nation’s 16,500 wastewater-treatment plants have won,” said Mike McGrath, division director of wastewater treatment for the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services. “It takes hard work to keep all of the pieces working to make this happen.”

The Peak Performance Awards recognize member-agency facilities for excellence in wastewater treatment, and recognizes the commitment, innovation and achievements of individuals and agencies in the clean-water community. This is the 30th time the plant has been recognized.

To be eligible for a Platinum Peak Performance award, a wastewater-treatment facility must obtain and test 356 daily samples of treated water, plus 52 weekly samples and 12 monthly samples. Tests determine if cleaned wastewater released from a plant will or will not harm the environment.

Forty million gallons of wastewater are treated and released every day at the plant, county officials said.

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