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Updated: Sanitation Authority Proposal Calls for Green Roof on Wastewater Tank

Roof to house playing field operated by the city.

Updated 12:35 p.m. Thursday — The Alexandria Sanitation Authority released a statement Thursday afternoon about the Planning Commission's approval of the wastewater tank proposal that includes an athletic field on top.

ASA General Manager Karen Pallansch said the following:

“This is a very exciting time for ASA. The Alexandria Planning Commission is to be commended for its decision. With this design, ASA will be able to continue to meet stringent environmental standards that protect the health of our watershed as Alexandria grows. ASA will also be able to benefit the community with a new athletic field, green space and a walking or pedestrian trail in an area that has largely been used as a landfill.”

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The Alexandria Planning Commission approved designs for a bold new facility for the Alexandria Sanitation Authority on Tuesday evening that would also serve recreation needs in the city.

The proposal calls for the creation of a large wastewater tank partially underground at 350 and 400 Hooffs Run Drive just west of the current ASA facilities. ASA then plans on constructing a lighted athletic field on top of the tank that will be operated and maintained by the city.

“This is a very exciting project,” said Katye North, an urban planner with the city. “It is not your typical development. … It fills needs for ASA while also benefitting the community.”

The majority of the 10.6-acre site would be occupied by a partially buried wastewater tank measuring 415 feet wide and 256 feet long. ASA needs the new tank so it can comply with stricter environmental standards that will reduce the nutrient levels discharged into the Potomac River.

ASA would then construct a playing field measuring 360 feet by 210 feet on the roof of the tank. The tank would sit as much as 17 feet above ground in places, but a ramp and landscaping around the entrance of the field would create a natural transition, making it appear as though there was nothing below the field.

The field, which is expected to be completed in 2016, will essentially function as a green roof on top of the tank. It would eventually connect to a larger open space area on the blocks to the north through a terraced deck that will be constructed in a future phase.

The turf field would be illuminated by four 70-foot light poles. A 50-foot tall odor control stack is proposed for the southeast corner of the site.

After ASA constructs the field, the city would oversee its maintenance and scheduling. The city would get the field for 15 years. If ASA needs the space after that time to build more tanks, the field will go away.

Later phases of the project would include the relocation of the existing ASA administration building to this site and the construction of an underground wet weather pump station.

The Alexandria City Council will vote on the proposal at a later date.

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