Alexandria’s Athletic Field with a Hidden Purpose


Alexandria’s Athletic Field with a Hidden Purpose

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How AlexRenew Turned Previously Inaccessible Land Into a Community Athletic Field

On most afternoons in the City of Alexandria, you’ll find Limerick Field full of people exercising, children chasing soccer balls, and parents cheering from the sidelines. But this popular public space has another important function for the community.

Below the surface of the modern turf field is AlexRenew’s nutrient management facility (NMF). The facility, which stores up to 18 million gallons of wastewater, serves an intracule role in treating wastewater for the city and its residents. 

Limerick Field Image
Alexandria’s Athletic Field with a Hidden Purpose
AlexRenew's Limerick Field hosts soccer games and practices. It also has another important function for the community.

AlexRenew constructed the NMF in 2016 to help meet stricter Virginia Department of Environmental Quality nutrient reduction regulations to support the Chesapeake Bay. The NMF stores wastewater to balance the amount of nitrogen that goes into AlexRenew’s biological treatment processes. The stored wastewater is then pumped back into the treatment process over time, allowing the plant to remove nutrients more efficiently throughout the day. With help from the NMF, AlexRenew uses less chemicals and energy while meeting the nitrogen reduction requirements.

The NMF is located on land that was previously inaccessible for public use. While planning the project, AlexRenew collaborated with City of Alexandria staff to create a facility to help meet regulations while leveraging the space to benefit the community. The final concept was a modern turf athletic field the city could manage upon completion of the project.

Today, Limerick Field is managed by the City of Alexandria’s Office of Recreation, Parks, & Cultural Activities. Community members can reserve the field by contacting the City’s sports office at 703-746-5402.