Frequently Asked Questions

AlexRenew is an advanced water resource recovery facility serving more than 300,000 people in Alexandria and parts of Fairfax County. We treat 35 million gallons of dirty water each day.

We’re actually neither. AlexRenew is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia.  We do not make profits, have shareholders or pay dividends. Instead, we provide clean and safe water, every hour of every day, at a stable rate, year after year.

In 1952, the Alexandria City Council created the Alexandria Sanitation Authority (ASA). It started operating in 1956 as a wastewater treatment facility. On Earth Day 2012, ASA became Alexandria Renew Enterprises. The name was changed because it better reflected our role reclaiming, recycling, and renewing natural resources from dirty water.

Due to the topography of the land in this region, our facility sits at a low drainage point, so building a wastewater treatment facility to serve both communities made good engineering and practical sense.

Three organizations – Virginia American Water, the City of Alexandria and AlexRenew – all play a critical role in providing, transporting and cleaning our city’s water! Virginia American Water supplies water to Alexandria homes and businesses. Once it’s used, the water goes down the drain and enters the sewer system maintained by the City of Alexandria. These pipes connect to our interceptors, which bring the water to our treatment facilities. There, we transform dirty water into clean water to be sent back to our local waterways!

Our main facility is near Old Town on Eisenhower Avenue, near the Whole Foods on Duke Street.

After being cleaned, we release sparkling, odor-free water into Hunting Creek, a south Alexandria tributary that flows into the Potomac River and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay.

Whatever goes down the drain or is flushed down the toilet makes its way to us. When the water arrives, our process removes or neutralizes:

  • Large objects, like branches, trash, and rags
  • Grit
  • Oils and grease
  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus
  • Sediment
  • Pathogens

Nitrogen and phosphorus fuel the growth of algae blooms in our watershed. Nitrogen nourishes plant life, but starves aquatic life of oxygen. Too much nitrogen results in “dead zones,” where nothing can live.

  • We use part of the cleaned water to help operate our equipment. In 2016, we used 1.4 billion gallons of reclaimed water. In the future, we will provide reclaimed water to qualified industrial customers.
  • Energy is generated through gas that is produced during the water treatment process, and we use this gas to operate our facilities. Last year, we used 92% of the 152 million cubic feet of gas it produced as an energy source.
  • AlexRenew enriches the land by providing biosolids—a safe, natural alternative to chemical fertilizers. Last year, we provided 21,300 wet tons to Virginia farmers in 15 counties.

Virginia American Water Company provides us with all of our account information and meter readings. For this reason, all of our account holders must also have an account with them. To start or stop service, you must please first do so with Virginia American Water Company. They can be reached at (800) 452-6863 or (703) 549-7080, Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Or visit Virginia American Water's webpage on turning service on/off

If any of your account information (phone number, e-mail address, etc.) changes, please let us know! contact our billing department directly at (703) 549-3383 (7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday) or billing@alexrenew.com. For name and/or address changes, please contact Virginia American Water Company. 

Yes! Alexandria Renew Enterprises offers paperless billing through www.mycheckfree.com and, in some cases, through your bank or credit union. We know that paperless billing is important to our customers and we are working hard to expand this option in 2018. Please check our website periodically for announcements about this and other new features and services as we offer them.

When it comes to your wastewater service, you should only be charged for your indoor water use and not for warm-weather activities like washing your car or watering your lawn. If you live in a single-family residence, the maximum water use on your AlexRenew bill from March through November is capped. The cap is set at either the average monthly residential use during the previous winter period (December through February) or 4,000 gallons*, whichever is greater.

For instance, if your winter average is 5,000 gallons, when your household uses less than the 5,000 gallon cap, you are billed for your actual use.  When you use more than 5,000 gallons, your wastewater treatment charge is capped at 5,000 gallons. 

Multi-family dwellings, such as condominiums and apartments, typically have separate metered irrigation services and are not covered by the winter average.

*The 4,000 gallon average was set by AlexRenew based on the calculated average amount of water used by our customers during the winter period.  The winter average concept was developed to reflect the average amount of water used indoors by a household and is a validated national process used by many wastewater utilities. 

Most Alexandria citizens receive two separate bills from Virginia American Water, which provides clean water to your home, and AlexRenew, which cleans your dirty water once it goes down your pipes.

The Residential Activation Fee is a non-refundable fee that covers the cost to initiate service with Alexandria Renew Enterprises. This fee is charged to all new residential accounts.

Transforming your dirty water into safe and clean water is a more complex – and as a result, costlier – process than bringing drinking water into your home. By thoroughly transforming your dirty water, we can ensure our local waterways — the source of much drinking water — are as healthy and safe as possible. 

For your Virginia American Water bill, please call (703) 549-7080 or (800) 452-6863.

AlexRenew created The WATER Fund (Water Assistance That Empowers Residents) in 2016 to help neighbors in need pay their sewer bills. The fund was created in partnership with the United Way of the National Capital Area to lend a hand when customers are experiencing difficulty paying their sewer bills.

Anyone can help by donating to the United Way of the National Capital Area. To learn more, please go to https://unitedwaynca.org/get-involved/donate/. Federal employees can support the United Way by selecting #31408 as part of the Combined Federal Campaign.

Customers who need help paying their sewer bill with AlexRenew should contact Customer Service at 703-549-3383 (Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.).
 

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) regulates AlexRenew’s reclaimed water system. These regulations govern system design, water quality, how the water can be used, and permitting, among other areas.

Please contact us at Charlie Logue, Chief of Production, at charlie.logue@alexrenew.com.

Reclaimed water is clean, odorless, highly treated wastewater. AlexRenew produces reclaimed water through a state-of-the-art treatment process – including additional disinfection. This treatment process results in water that is useful for a variety of purposes – irrigation, air conditioning, even toilet flushing!

Customers who use reclaimed water help our environment by reducing the amount of nutrients discharged into the Chesapeake Bay watershed. In addition, customers using reclaimed water are conserving potable (drinking) water and reducing stress on our water supplies.

Reclaimed water can be used for:

  • Irrigating lawns, golf courses, and most landscaping
  • Washing cars and other vehicles
  • Power washing and street cleaning
  • Commercial air conditioning, such as cooling tower make-up water or boiler feed water
  • Construction activities
  • Industrial uses

Reclaimed water cannot be used for drinking, hand washing or food preparation

Replacing the former administration building created more space on campus for additional water treatment facilities, including solutions to wet weather overflows.

Yes, our Environmental Center at 1800 Limerick Street is open. Our customers and community are cordially invited to visit our educational lobby, and our sixth floor conference rooms are available for community groups, governmental entities, or private groups to rent. Click here for more information.

The Limerick Street Field sits atop AlexRenew’s nutrient management facility (NMF), an 18-million-gallon treatment facility that stores wastewater to balance the amount of nitrogen that goes into AlexRenew’s biological treatment process. This helps AlexRenew reduce the amount of chemicals and energy needed to clean water and ultimately helps reduce the amount of nitrogen discharged into the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Funding for this project was secured as part of a real estate agreement between Alexandria Renew Enterprises and Carlyle Plaza LLC, with City approval. 

Yes, AlexRenew purchase orders contain terms and conditions.

Review AlexRenew Purchasing Terms and Conditions (PDF)

In the interest of paying your invoice in a timely manner, please be advised that all invoices should be submitted only through one of the following methods:

Via US Mail to:
Alexandria Renew Enterprises
1800 Limerick St
Alexandria, VA 22314 
Attn: Accounts Payable

Via E-Mail to: Invoicing@alexrenew.com

Invoices sent in any other method or to any other street or email address may cause delays in processing your invoice.

AlexRenew is helping local, small, minority and woman-owned Businesses. We know that getting information on contracting opportunities can be overwhelming, but our purchasing department is here to help you. To ensure notification of business opportunities, please register as a bidder with eVA. Additionally, please contact the purchasing department to arrange a meeting to discuss business opportunities. Also, please contact the Alexandria Small Business Development Center.

You can either contact purchasing at Purchasing@alexrenew.com and speak to our staff, or register with eVA.  eVA will send notifications directly to the registered bidders.

Yes, you can download our complete safety plan here.

No. Fairfax County pays AlexRenew for the water treatment services it receives, and contributes to its operating and capital expenses. In 2014, Fairfax County paid about $55 million for operating expenses, improvements and capital projects.

We get most of our funding from our customers. Those customers are the citizens and businesses of the City of Alexandria, part of Fairfax County, and a small part of Arlington County. AlexRenew does not get its funding from the federal government. We are not part of the City’s budget. In FY2014, we received almost $38 million from customers for the services we provided.

We’re a public entity, independent of the City government administratively and financially. That means we manage ourselves and must find our own funding. We get our authority, or power to operate, through the Virginia Water and Waste Authority Act.

For the past decade, our Board of Directors has set rate plans in multi-year increments. These rate changes have been modest, predictable, published, and advertised in local papers, posted on our website, and mailed directly to customers. Required public meetings to review and approve rate changes are also held.

Our rates for cleaning Alexandria’s water are comparable with other local water cleaning agencies. A good place to compare rates is here.

This graphic by Circle of Blue also compares the price of water, sewer, and stormwater across the U.S. (click to enlarge).