Fairfax County Sewage Disposal Site May Move to Reston

by Karen Goff February 12, 2016 at 10:00 am 54 Comments

Map of Proposed Septage Site/Courtesy Fairfax County

A Fairfax County septic tank disposal site may be relocating from Colvin Run Road road to land owned by the Fairfax County Park Authority in Reston.

Fairfax County’s Department of Public Works and Environmental Services briefed park authority officials Wednesday on a Septage Receiving Site Feasibility Study that found several reasons to move the site to Reston.

Septic tank customers (mainly homes on large lots not tied into the county sewer system), portable toilet companies and restaurants who must properly dispose of grease have for decades pumped waste safely into the Colvin Run plant.

But that site is aging, prone to flooding and “stinks,” said Park Authority Chair Bill Bouie. About 22 trucks visit the site daily.

The county is proposing a secure, modern, odor-controlled facility off Hunter Mill Road. It is important to have the new plant located off a major road to minimize the impact on traffic, county officials said.

And while the proposed new site is on park land, it is not in a part of Lake Fairfax Park where citizens would be using the park, said Bouie.

The Park Authority’s Area 6 Park Operations / Lake Fairfax Maintenance area is located in an isolated, employee-only part of the park. The septage facility would be heavily screened by trees and is not in a floodplain, according to the county’s proposal. Adding the septage facility would also be a chance to make needed improvements to the current site, which currently is a tree debris and solid waste disposal area, as well as mulch storage.

The new location would also provide convenient access from areas without sewer service (i.e., Great Falls and Oakton), as well as Reston and Vienna restaurants, the presentation noted.

Bouie said most trips to the plant would be grease disposal as home septic customers usually only get cleanouts about once every five years.

Residents can learn more and offer feedback at a community meeting with Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins Feb. 18 at  7:30 p.m., at Bechtel Conference Center, 1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Reston.

  • can we curse?

    Let me be the first Restonian here to say f*C& that $h1t.

  • Chuck Morningwood

    You can’t be buried here (unless you can somehow figure out how to shoehorn your remains into that little cemetary up the road) but you can dump your excrement here.

    Reston’s new motto “Live. Work. Play. Poop.”

  • cRAzy

    So the big stink is going to come to Reston! Another selling point for quality of life here.

    And BTW, since when has Hunter Mill Rd. become “a major road?” It is a two-lane country road with a single-lane bridge both north and south of where the proposed dump site is located.

    What are these people thinking????

  • Greg

    Hunter Mill Road is a major road? And here we thought it was a Virginia Byway with those charming single-lane bridges. Just say no, Bouie, and fix the old dump.


    • I just checked the VDOT site being about to make this same point in my post and despite the signage I am sure I remember Hunter Mill does not appear on the current map of Virginia Byways–Georgetown Pike, yes but not Hunter Mill

      • 30yearsinreston

        go out and take a look – there is a sign there

        • Thanks, I was sure there was a blue sign the last time I drove through there a couple days ago–but VDOT’s current map clearly indicates otherwise:


          . . . the questions being, was this designation somehow removed recently and if so by what process including public referendum, community hearing, etc.?

          • 30yearsinreston

            a good question for Mr Plum.

          • SouthRestonResident

            Just curious – has Mr. Plum ever taken a Q&A or ever replied to a single comment on one of his ‘editorials’? It appears he loves to preach from the pulpit but never responds to the tough questions.

          • Spaceman

            Through the wonders of the Way Back machine we can determine when the maps changed. In this case, sometime between Jul 31 2014 and Aug 10 2014 the map on the VDOT web site was updated. The old map had Huntermill VA674 designated as a byway. The new map does not. Of course, this only is in reference to the map, and not the actual status of the high way

  • SouthRestonResident

    Cue Ken Plum telling us how great this will be for Restonians or maybe Kathy Hudgins saying if you want to live in Reston you have to put up with some poop now and then

    • Karen Goff

      This is a county issue. Ken Plum is not involved. This is park authority, environmental services and board of supervisors.

      • SouthRestonResident

        My mistake, this is only a Hudgins issue as she’s on the Board of Supervisors (http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/government/board/)

        I’ll wait for her self-serving editorial where she talks down to Reston residents and says it’s part of the cost.

        • Mike M

          Indeed. I hear she went to a “diversity” event. Makes me feel so warm inside! As for real issues . . .? Yeah.

          • SouthRestonResident

            What is a ‘diversity’ event? Do you have more information on it?

          • Mike M

            It’s all she ever seems to do and talk about.

      • 30yearsinreston

        Plum has no influence with BOS ?

        • SouthRestonResident

          Oh come on, you know that Mr. Plum is an elected Representative and that he’s only allowed to take credit on this site. No blame will be awarded and dissidents will be given warning at best and banned at worst.

          IF you would like to have a weekly column promoting an agenda such as higher taxes or the repeal of the second amendment, simply run for his seat in the next election and then you can win. Otherwise, you’ll be told “tough toe-nails” and that Mr. Plum does not have any influence on something that could have push back from his delegates

        • cRAzy

          He has no influence anywhere.

      • Oh please!

        He sounds off on county issues all the time.

  • I am a Northern Virginia native and have been involved in transportation and urban planning for almost 30 years professionally worldwide – http://www.linkedin.com/in/pickeral – and this is one of the most untenable proposals I have ever encountered. The two lane Hunter Mill corridor is already a traffic choke point including one of the few remaining single lane bridges in Fairfax County. There are multiple schools already in the immediate area with the brand new Oakcrest girls’ school scheduled to open this fall. Numerous park and recreational facilities are adjacent to the site including the Reston Zoo, Cross-County Trail and Lake Fairfax. In addition to Lake Fairfax itself (and its Water Mine family aquatic park) there are also multiple hydrological features nearby including the Difficult Run watershed which is highly subject to flooding whereby even a minor spillage or runoff incident could be disastrous. Moreover, VDOT just in the past few months invested substantial resources in reconditioning the roadway which large volumes of commercial trucks would very soon reverse. In short, the proposed location presents almost certainly the worst possible venue for this activity for the thousands of Fairfax County residents and others who would live, work, play or even drive near the area.

    • Mike M

      I am thinking the County apparatchiks including Kathy Hudgins and Sharon Bulova and a host of lesser weenies are doing this to irk a prominent Conservative landowner in the vicinity. I think his name is John Thoburn. As I understand it, they wanted him to sell his land to their friends on their terms and he was not cooperative. They hate the guy and even jailed him for a zoning infraction. There are some people in Fairfax County government that need serious correcting. They feel immune. They are not. I think they need a very jarring wake up call.

      Can anyone poke holes in this Chris Christie-esque theory? Just thinkin out loud here. Let’s just say this has a familiar stink.

      • CE

        Thank you Mike M

    • Mary Biear

      David. Good summary. I hope you can come to the meeting on Thursday

      • Mary et al – sorry but I have a prior commitment elsewhere tomorrow evening that I am thus far not able to reschedule. In the event I do not make it these are I would suggest the “Top 10” questions that folks who do should be asking tomorrow and as this situation continues to develop:

        1. What is the status of Hunter Mill Road as Virginia Scenic Byway given that it no longer appears on the VDOT map?

        2. If HMR is no longer a Byway, why was this status revoked (e.g., referendum, request of the BOS, discretionary action by VDOT, etc.)

        3. If HMR is still a byway, how was this accounted for in the Study and recommendation given the specific restrictions on commercial activity on development on such a corridor?

        4. More broadly, what if any is the position of VDOT regarding the proposed change given its recent development plans for HMR and other efforts generally geared at reducing the volume and intensity of traffic impact in the area (e.g., its 2006 Traffic Calming study)

        5. What objective fact-based data sets were considered (traffic volume, runoff analysis, soil sampling, environmental impact, etc.) in developing the recommendations

        6. Were these data sets included with the survey (e.g., as appendices to the report) and/or can they be made available for public review

        7. What analytics tools were employed to support the conclusion (e.g., traffic modeling, statistical analysis, ‘Monte Carlo’ or other risk assessment procedures) and can these likewise be made available

        8. What is the specific criteria for “major road” applied to HMR in the study (lanes, shoulder width, traffic volume, etc.).

        9. What licensed professional or professionals (Professional Engineer, Certified Environmental Specialists, etc.) certified the accuracy and acceptability of the final study as presented based on the standards applicable to their certifications?

        10. Who at the BOS, Fairfax County Public Works, VDOT and/or other government agencies formally accepted (“signed off on”) the study?

        Hope this helps, again stressing as others have that this issue is one with the County and the Commonwealth – it is not within the scope of authority for the Reston Association to address!

  • meh

    Sending an Air Mail to Reston will be a new NOVA saying.

  • 30yearsinreston

    Again, we have the majority of reston homeowners subsidizing +$million houses in Great Falls,Vienna and Oakton
    i guess after RA fell for the Tetra scam and enriched them, it sent the message that reston homeowners are suckers

  • Mike M

    Thanks, Kathy Hudgins. Thanks, Sharon Bulova. Now that your Democratic zombie constituents have rubber stamped your re-election, the time is ripe for all sorts of mischief counter to their interests! Well done!

    • Bah

      Dembots will still vote for them next time…. now matter what (literally) crappy things they do.

  • concord point

    There are so many good jokes here. I will restrain myself. The Park Authority prematurely gave away to the County five acres in Reston North (when the County had no chance of being able to use the land till it corrects its existing violation of the Open Space covenant). Hudgins new office opening in an open space easement…amazing. Then they mislead the public and mismanaged the Lake Anne PPP, refused to fix an erosion problem by South Lakes (granted this is FCPS mainly but DPWES not insisting on best practices for fellow County agency is weak).. The County is consistent on how it treats Reston. Why does Bill Bouie keep pandering to the County at the expense of the Reston community?

    • cRAzy

      becuz he’s Hudgins’ running dog!

    • Sally Forth

      AMEN!!! Bouie is a long term nightmare machine. and to add insult to injury, this guy LIVES in Reston. (BB, when will we in Reston finally get OUR indoor Rec Center???) BB screws Reston at every possible opportunity. And now he thinks it is OK to dump this on us??? I don’t think so!!! Hope everyone who reads this article shows up at CH’s “meeting” on this. Great Falls is the place for this and should stay there. Refurbish that site vs bringing more dung down onto our “town”. Lake Fairfax is the only true LFPA amenity in Reston. BCP is too full of rocks and dog poop to qualify.

  • Baron von PloppenHausen

    Are you ready Reston to become the fan?

    • Nick H

      This is a bad choice.
      Hunter Mill Road is a scenic two lane road and not designed for trucks. There must be a more appropriate location for sewerage dumping rather than this site. And, I consider Lake Fairfax Park a Reston treasure.

      • Greg

        It should stay right where it is. After all, most of its users and beneficiaries are from Great Falls, where there are few county sewers. The existing station, while not particularly attractive, rarely floods. It certainly would be cheaper to elevate and screen the dump station which is right off Leesburg Pike by just a few feet, if needed, rather than move it to Reston where nearly everyone is served by a county sewer (planned community 101).

  • Reston Realist

    If it weren’t for her neighbors, I’d put this dump site in Hudgins’ backyard.

  • Heh

    Put it on the Tetra site. That place ain’t worth a $h!t anyway.

  • Mary Cavanaugh

    This stinks, literally! Why are the powers that be hell bent on destroying Reston?

  • Karen Goff

    yes, because you repeatedly are posting off-topic remarks. If you do it again, you will be banned. Understand? K thanks bye.

  • Karen Goff

    Reminder. This thread is getting off topic. Please stick to the topic of the potential septic dump in Reston. Thanks.

  • JC

    is there a more detailed map available which you could post on this site?

    • Karen Goff

      This is all we have right now. More next week after the community meeting.

  • Nyla J.

    Moving this dumping area to Reston is a crappy idea.

  • Linda Ascher Singer

    This STINKS! Our Park Board member, Bill Bouie is Chair of the Park Board and should be protecting us not bringing this type of facility into Reston. We are growing and adding housing units. Who will be influenced to move here by this type of facility? Reston Association provides us with many of the facilities, the Park Authority pays for elsewhere. Why should we be penalized by a facility that could bite us in the future (not original word for this space!)? We do not have septic tanks in Reston—we pay for sewers.

  • WhyShouldRestonBeTheDumpingGro

    All Reston citizens need to band together and prevent this from happening. This sewage disposal plant needs to be located in Great Falls or Oakton, the vast majority source of the sewage to be disposed. Does anyone know why the existing “stinky” facility can’t get renovated with the shiny new “state of the art” facility that they’re planning for Reston? Great Falls is so vast, landwise, there must be space there to build this facility, if not the existing location.

  • Bobby Love

    The facility location should be chosen based on the source home proximity, not wealth of the source home land owners.

    Does anyone have a list of the other sites that were proposed and rejected by Fairfax? Curious as to how this decision was made and that list might give some insight.

    • Greg

      My guess is that it has to be sited atop a main sewer line. There is one along Difficult Run (crossing under Hunter Mill and Leesburg Pike) leading into the Potomac interceptor (PI) and then into Blue Plains sewage treatment plant in DC. However, the PI is nearing capacity and Fairfax County can only send so much sewage per day (31 million gallons) to DC. Fairfax County may be forced to back pump some of its sewage that otherwise would have been sent to DC to Leesburg instead. If that’s the case, then the Reston relocation is not wise for that reason alone.


  • Suzanne Freeman

    This is an awful idea. Hunter Mill road cannot handle 22 trucks coming in daily. The traffic back up would be horrible not to mention the long term environmental impacts. We need to
    organize and block this.

  • cRAzy

    Hudgins apparently doesn’t intend to run for re-election nearly six years from now with crap in her wheelhouse.

    So what idiot will the Democrats put up next? Kathleen Driscoll McKee? Pat Hynes? Cate Fulkerson? Ellen Graves? This list goes on and on….

    and look for more of this in the future.

    • Chuck Morningwood

      Don’t like Dems? Then elect somebody else.

  • SmellsBad

    This is a (not so veiled) threat to RA for getting a little too uppity– complaining about dog parks, trying to have a voice in things. Just a little reminder of who holds the power.

  • LocalResident

    Why doesn’t the map show the Dulles Toll Road or Sunset Hills? The map is quite odd with which roads it displays vs. the ones it doesn’t.

  • J Taxpayer

    Check the map; why not relocate the facility North of Rte 7? Huge tracts of land, little traffic, lots of septic tracts, little-used roads. Was that area considered?

  • J Taxpayer

    The old Nike missile site should work, wouldn’t it? Sure, part or all of it is called Nike Park, but so is Lake Fairfax Park, but the latter has a [vulnerable] lake, water park, streams, and is much more heavily used. Further, the Nike Park area is in the major septic use source area.


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