Our History

AlexRenew (formerly Alexandria Sanitation Authority) was created in 1952 to build, operate and maintain a new sewage treatment system to serve the City and parts of Fairfax County, which made good engineering and financial sense.

You might not guess it today, but at that time, the Potomac River was choked with raw sewage, which posed a severe health threat to the community. We haven’t stopped protecting our community’s health and the environment since our first day of plant operation in July 1956.

Restore. Rebuild. Renew.

On Earth Day 2012, Alexandria Sanitation Authority became Alexandria Renew Enterprises to reflect our new, broader vision to serve as a water resource recovery facility.

Our award-winning facility is a model for safe, innovative wastewater treatment

Today, we’re proud to serve 320,000 people in the City of Alexandria and part of Fairfax County by cleaning over 13 billion gallons of wastewater every year.

Our Clean Water Timeline

1800s

First sewer system installed in the City of Alexandria. Click here to read more about Alexandria's early sewer history.

1948

Congress passes Federal Water Pollution Control Act.

1952

Alexandria City Council creates the Alexandria Sanitation Authority (ASA), the first Authority in Virginia.

1956

ASA plant goes into operation, treating sewage 24/7, 365 days a year.

1970

First Earth Day. Pollution-fueled algae in the Chesapeake Bay create “dead zones.”

1971

VA’s Potomac Embayment standards limit the amount of pollution in water discharges.

1972

Clean Water Act enacted. ASA begins first upgrade and expansion.

1984

ASA completes construction of expansion and upgrade to advanced wastewater treatment.

1987

Bay Agreement signed to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment in the Chesapeake.

1999

ASA begins construction to upgrade and meet new Commonwealth and regional standards to protect the Chesapeake Bay.

2002-2003

Initial operation of nitrogen system begins to reduce algae blooms in local waterways. Nitrogen discharge from plant reduced by 80%.

2005

VA issues regulations requiring  greater reduction of nitrogen discharge. ASA completes full facility upgrade.

2009

Work begins on State-of-the-Art Nitrogen Upgrade Program (SANUP).

2012

On Earth Day, ASA becomes Alexandria Renew Enterprises.

2016

SANUP, $160-million upgrade program completed. 

2017

AlexRenew receives its 12th year of no permit violations. The Environmental Center is certified LEED Platinum.

2018

AlexRenew receives its 13th year of no permit violations. NACWA honors AlexRenew with its Excellence in Management Platinum Recognition.