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


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


Congress passes Federal Water Pollution Control Act.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


On Earth Day, ASA becomes Alexandria Renew Enterprises.


SANUP, $160-million upgrade program completed. 


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


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