Late last month, the utility began operating the first section of the system, running from RFK Stadium to the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant.
It was not long, it appeared, before it got a trial in true storm conditions.
About two inches of rain fell at Reagan National Airport in about three hours early Monday.
That amount was “far more,” the utility said, than the city’s system of combined storm and sanitary sewers could handle.
But said DC Water’s interim CEO and general manager, the system worked as designed.
While the rain poured onto city pavements, and rushed into sewers, the system was storing – then treating—millions of gallons of combined sewage that otherwise would have overflowed to the river.
“That is great news for the Anacostia,” Brown said in a statement, “and it will only get better when the rest of the tunnel system is brought online.”
According to the utility, the part of the system that was placed into operation includes about seven miles of tunnel with an inside diameter of 23 feet. It can store, the utility said, more than 100 million gallons, while “ continuously processing another 225 million gallons per day” at the new Wet Weather Treatment Facility at Blue Plains.