Millions of gallons of wastewater go through the Noman M. Cole Jr. Pollution Control Plant in Lorton, and it now gets treated with ultraviolet lights, saving money, wastewater, and wildlife in Pohick Bay. The UV process is a physical disinfection system that generates photons that penetrate microbial DNA to deactivate bacteria and leave it unable to reproduce. This is an improved process from the old chemical (sodium hypochlorite) disinfection system.
According to Burke Connection, "The water comes into the plant, gets zapped by the 1000-watt ultraviolet lights, and flows back through pipes that go under Old Colchester Road, down Pohick Creek and eventually back into Pohick Bay. The water that flows into the bay is 99.999 percent germ-free, McGrath said, and is compliant with the Clean Water Act."
As per Burke Connection, "Previously, the chemical disinfection system required 200 yearly tanker truck deliveries of chemicals and $750,000 annually in chemical costs eliminated with the new UV system. An existing large pump station associated with the old disinfection system is no longer needed either, so this saves about 846,000kWH of energy per year, saving greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 100 cars from the area roadways, Fairfax County said."