Water Pollution Control Division - Operations

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Operations Facility

WPCF building

There are 171 miles of sanitary sewer mains beneath the ground in Leesburg, mostly under the pavement. The sanitary sewer mains carry wastewater from homes or businesses to the Water Pollution Control Facility for treatment. Leesburg’s sewers range in size from 4 inches to 36 inches in diameter while connecting and changing direction at 5,200 different manholes which are located in the streets and easements.

 Operations Facility Upgrades

• In 2001, the Town completed a $6.5 million grant-funded nutrient removal upgrade of the Water Pollution Control Facility.

• In January 2002, construction was completed on an $11 million Biosolids Processing Facility for pelletizing sludge. This was the first dryer of its type approved in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The pelletized biosolids, product named Tuscarora Landscaper’s Choice (TLC), is distributed commercially and at an established delivery charge, but is free to Leesburg Utility customers. For more information on this product or how to obtain the product, call the Water Pollution Control Facility at 703-737-7100.


 • In 2008, the Water Pollution Control Facility was expanded to a capacity of 7.5 MGD average flow and was constructed with future capabilities to facilitate an expansion to 10 MGD average flow. The upgrade also incorporated an odor control system.  The WPCF brochure provides additional facility operating details and tabulations.


Manholes are an important part of the sanitary sewer system because they:

•  Are points of entry for cleaning and TV inspection equipment.
•  Allow venting of sewer gases.
•  Are used as evaluation points to make quick assessments in emergency situations.

Therefore, it is important to keep manholes readily accessible.


Sanitary Sewer Mains

Sanitary Pipe - Aerial Crossing
Originally in the 1950’s, terra cotta (clay) sanitary sewer pipes were installed throughout the system. In 1972, the Town started to use asbestos cement (A.C.) sanitary sewer pipe after it became apparent that the joints in clay pipes were weak and allowed tree roots and groundwater to infiltrate into the sewer system. Over the next few years, A.C. was determined to be hazardous to pipe handlers and installers and was abolished from use in sanitary sewer systems. From 1979 to present day, the Town uses plastic or ductile iron pipe. These pipes have all the right characteristics for the sewer system. Plastic pipe has high abrasion resistance, is resilient to water or root intrusion problems, is flexible, and has a long life expectancy. Ductile iron pipe also offers the added strength needed to resist breakage in shallow applications subject to traffic loads and in deep applications under heavy earth loads.

Pump Stations

GC Pump Station

In most situations, piped wastewater is routed along waterways using the natural fall of the ground. This is called a “gravity feed system". Occasionally in low lying areas, gravity feed cannot be achieved and use of a pump station is necessary. A pump station uses pumps and a forcemain pipe to convey wastewater to a higher elevation manhole where the gravity system receives and directs the wastewater flow to the Water Pollution Control Facility. Pump stations are also referred to as lift stations. The Town currently operates 10 pump stations and maintains 13 miles of forcemain pipe.

Cattail Pump Station