The Washington Post

More green infrastructure, smaller sewer overflow tunnel

As I first reported many, many moons ago, DC Water is under court decree to address the chronic problem of untreated sewage being dumped into the Potomac River and other local waterways. One of the measures it has proposed to tackle the issue is to dig a gigantic tunnel underneath the Georgetown waterfront running all the way to about the Kennedy Center. The agency, however, is now exploring whether it might satisfy its obligations without digging as large a tunnel.

The purpose of the tunnel is to act as a giant underground reservoir to capture excess storm water during heavy rains. As it is, when street drains get overwhelmed, the excess water is directed to a series of overflow sewage drainage pipes that dump into Rock Creek and the Potomac. This wouldn’t be that huge of a problem except for the fact that in older sections of the city such as Georgetown, storm sewers and household sewers are combined. So after particularly heavy rains, what you flush down the toilet will soon be floating down the Potomac. (Sorry for that graphic image).

[Continue reading Topher Mathews’ post at The Georgetown Metropolitan.]

Topher Mathews blogs at The Georgetown Metropolitan . The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

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