Capital Crescent Trail to remain closed after sewage spill


A worker monitors cleanup efforts after a sewage spill on the Capital Crescent Trail in Washington on May 1. (Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post)

Part of the Capital Crescent Trail could remain closed for another week as crews continue to clean up a sewer overflow, according to officials.

A combined sewage and rainwater spill forced the National Park Service to close sections of the trail near Washington Canoe Club on Friday.

D.C. Water crews are on the scene working to clean up, decontaminate and repair affected areas of the park, officials said. The trail is closed to the public between Water Street in Georgetown and Fletcher’s Cove.

The agency said Friday that it is trying to the determine the cause for this and a previous overflow on April 30. The earlier overflow prompted the closure of the same sections of the trail for about week.

“Our cleanup efforts continue today, and I anticipate it could be a few days before the trail reopens,” John Lisle, a D.C. Water spokesman said Saturday.

Jennifer Anzelmo-Sarles, a spokeswoman for the National Park Service, said that once DC Water indicates that cleanup and decontamination are completed, the Park Service will inspect the site “to ensure clean-up efforts meet appropriate health and safety.”

“The overflow from yesterday was nowhere near as much as the previous storm, so we are hoping clean up will be quicker,” she said in an e-mail Saturday.  “But it’s possible the trail could remain closed for another week.”

The National Park Service recommends using the C&O Canal towpath as an alternative, but it cautions that water levels are expected to peak Saturday afternoon and that portions of the towpath that are prone to flooding may be closed.

Luz Lazo writes about transportation and development. She has recently written about the challenges of bus commuting, Metro’s dark stations, and the impact of sequestration on air travel.
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