Arlington officials see some pushback on solid-waste upgrade

Take all the stuff flushed through Arlington’s wastewater system in a given day, squeeze out all the liquid, and what do you have?
All told, nearly 260,000 pounds of leftover solid material – all of which currently is treated with lime and trucked out of the area for disposal.
Arlington officials aim to cut that amount by more than half through a nearly $100 million upgrade to the Water Pollution Control Plant.
But one aspect of the proposal has some in the community worried.
But one result of switching to the new process – the creation of methane biogas as a byproduct – has engendered some community angst.
“People are concerned about the impact,” said Suzanne Sundburg, a delegate to the Arlington County Civic Federation.
By flaring off excess build-ups of gas, “you’re shooting superheated gas up into the atmosphere,” she said.
David Hughes, another Civic Federation delegate, pressed the county government to “ensure that there won’t be a problem for the immediate neighborhood or the community at large.” Dispatched to the Civic Federation in an effort to provide reassurance was Mary Strawn, an engineer with the government’s Department of Environmental Services.
Strawn, who spoke at the federation’s April 4 meeting, predicted that the planned upgrades would, on balance, be a net positive for the community and the environment.
That was a view shared by Civic Federation delegate Sarah McKinley.

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