CFA 18/NOV/04-8


Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant
5000 Overlook Avenue, SW
United States

DC Water
Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant
New Egg-shaped Digester Facility
Review Type


Dear Mr. Johnson:

During its 18 November 2004 meeting, the Commission reviewed the concept designs for the proposed new egg-shaped digester facility at the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant. The members applaud the Authority for their forward-looking planning to incorporate such a facility into the wastewater treatment process at the Blue Plains Plant. The long term benefits for the metropolitan area and the environment that this new installation will provide are many. Overall, the Commission approved the project’s location and the concept design for the layout of the facility. However, the members made several recommendations to improve the design of the facility’s decorative features.

There was a consensus that the "Victorian" looking supports of the bridging at the top of the digesters were not of the right stylistic period. It was recommended that the bridges should be modified to reflect a more modern 1930's industrial Deco style. This image would be more in keeping with the character of the existing older buildings in the plant and with the industrial nature of the facility. In this regard, the members also suggested the elevator towers, associated with the digesters, be clad in the same metal as the large tanks instead of yellow brick veneer. In addition, the members suggested that the final selection of the metal for the cladding of the egg-shaped tanks be carefully chosen. The idea is to not render the pattern with closely associated or contrasting colors. The fear is that the contrast of colors in the pattern may be too strong and the effect will be garish and too assertive. Perhaps only one color of metal should be used and allow the pattern to be rendered by the joints and seams. This would create the very subtle effect desired.

With these comments taken into consideration, the concept design for the facility should be modified and resubmitted, with material samples, when ready. Our next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday the 25th of January 2005, with a submission deadline on the 6th of January. As always, the staff is available should you require additional guidance.


/s/Frederick J. Lindstrom
Acting Secretary

Mr. Jerry N. Johnson
General Manager
DC Water and Sewer Authority
5000 Overlook Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20032

cc: Avis M. Russell, DCWASA
Cynthia Giordano, Arnold and Porter
Suman Sorg, Sorg Associates