Photo by Pinelife.
WASA–now branded “DC Water”–has been conducting major construction on Q St. for about a year. The construction entails separating the sewer systems into two systems: sanitary and storm. As it is now, all sewage, whether from a toilet or a storm grate, goes into the same pipe. When it rains a lot (like yesterday) that pipe gets backed up and the overflow (including all that stuff from the toilets) is drained into Rock Creek. The EPA sued WASA over this and WASA is under a court order to fix it by separating the pipes to make sure sanitary sewage never is dumped into Rock Creek.
When WASA was considering this project, they kicked around a couple ideas for how to conduct the massive project on Q St. They considered shutting the road down completely or just shutting it down to one lane. Finally they settled on allowing two lanes of traffic at all times. The last GM heard about this (which was a little before construction started) the project was supposed to run from about October 2009 until September 2010.
Obviously this didn’t happen. Construction is still ongoing. GM reached out to WASA/DC Water and discovered that various delays pushed back the project and that the target completion date is now March 2011. Read about the project here.
While the project has taken a lot longer than first promised, GM thinks the agency has down a great job minimizing the impact of the construction. While people living on the 2500 block of Q St. are likely pretty tired of the construction by now, it could have been a lot worse. And when it’s all said and done, it will result in a much cleaner Rock Creek and that’s a great thing.