Back in October, I got a call from Cole Publishing with a request that I do a shoot for a feature spread in one of their trade journals - TPO Magazine. What does TPO stand for? Treatment Plant Operator. Following the advice of a number of great photographers, I said, "Sure, I'd love to."
My assignment entailed photographing the Broad Run Water Reclamation Facility in nearby Ashburn, VA. I headed out to the faciltiy (which happens to be next to Redskins park) on a Sunday afternoon, prepared for... well there's no proper way to say it... lots and lots of poo.
I met up with plant supervisor, Mike Rumke, at the main business offices for the plant. We laid out a plan to cover the 150+ acre property and capture some key photos of equipment and personnel that the magazine had requested. (By the way, Mike is an awesome guy and a great tour guide - thanks for all your help that day)
We headed out the back door of the office building onto the plant property, and the adventure began.
To be honest, I had prepared myself for giant poo-ponds. You know what I'm talking about... the big outdoor pools of sludge that come to mind when you think of water treatment plants. I was pleasantly surprised. Broad Run was built in 2008, and happens to be one of the most technologically advanced treatment plants in the country. Every bit of the process is completely contained in a sealed system, which means - it doesn't even smell.
I have to say, the engineer in me was highly impressed as the operators showed me touch panel controls and spotless equipment rooms. All in all, it was a fantastic experience. If you'd like to see the photos from the shoot, click the image below to go to the digital version of the magazine.