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by ARLnow.com — January 16, 2013 at 12:15 pm 1,594 16 Comments

Water main break on Columbia Pike (file photo)This morning residents in various parts of Arlington reported low or no water pressure at their homes. Now we know why: a huge water main sprung a leak and needed to be repaired.

“A leak was discovered at midnight on a 30-inch main at a location just north of the intersection of Arlington Blvd and Irving,” Arlington County Department of Environmental Services spokeswoman Shannon Whalen McDaniel told ARLnow.com. “County crews worked during the night to repair the leak. During the isolation process of the repair, an area of the main was impacted resulting in low water pressure.”

“Pressure should be restored to normal levels now,” McDaniel said. “There will be additional repair work on the main this week (along Irving), however it should not impact pressure for customers.”

Water pressure problems were reported in neighborhoods like Buckingham, Arlington Forest, Nauck and Fairlington.

File photo

by ARLnow.com — November 21, 2012 at 10:05 am 2,098 21 Comments

Sewage has leaked from a private building into Doctors Run, also known as Doctors Branch, Arlington County said Wednesday morning.

The county is advising people and pets to avoid contact with the stream, a tributary of Four Mile Run, until further notice. From an Arlington Alert:

The Arlington County Department of Environmental Services reports the possible release of sewage from a private building into the storm drains system. They are advising that humans and pets avoid contact with the water in Doctors Branch from Alcova Heights Park located at South 8th st. and George Mason Drive to Four Mile Run at Barcroft Park for several days to allow flushing of the stream.

by ARLnow.com — October 15, 2012 at 11:55 am 1,611 11 Comments

Arlington County has deemed its latest Environmental Collection and Recycling Event (E-CARE) another success.

The event on Saturday attracted 1,239 residents who dropped off 41.5 tons of hazardous household materials and 11.5 tons of electronics for recycling.

The next E-CARE event will be held next spring. This past spring, E-CARE collected 35.5 tons of hazardous household materials and some 20 tons of electronics.

E-CARE is held biannually at Thomas Jefferson Middle School (125 S. Old Glebe Road).

by ARLnow.com — September 21, 2012 at 12:15 pm 7,415 62 Comments

The Arlington County Fire Department and the county’s Department of Environmental Services (DES) were called to Four Mile Run near Shirlington this morning for a report of a huge mass of foam accumulating in the creek.

It’s thought that the foam was caused by some sort of soap or detergent. Firefighters tested the foam using a chemical strip and determined that it was not hazardous, according to DES Office of Sustainability and Environmental Management Bureau Chief Jeff Harn. DES is now trying to figure out where the foam came from.

“County staff continue to investigate the issue and are trying to determine the source of the foam,” Harn told ARLnow.com. “However, the discharge that caused the foam is no longer occurring and no source has yet been identified.”

Courtesy photo

by Katie Pyzyk — July 30, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,881 17 Comments

(Updated at 2:00 p.m.) County Manager Barbara Donnellan has announced a new director for the Department of Environmental Services.

Greg Emanuel has been named to the position, effective as of August 13. He will replace William F. O’Connor, who has held the position since October 2010, and is retiring from the county this month. Emanuel had served as the department’s deputy director since March.

“I am very pleased to have Greg join my Executive Leadership Team,” said Donnellan. “He has a proven track record of results, and a tremendous dedication and passion for our workforce and our community.”

Emanuel will be earning a salary of about $168,000 per year, according to Arlington County Human Resources Director Marcy Foster. That’s slightly less than O’Connor’s annual salary.

The department, which has more than 700 employees, manages the county’s infrastructure, transportation, the environment and capital investment.

In a press release, the county listed more of Emanuel’s experience and accomplishments:

During his time with the County, Mr. Emanuel led the effort for several major capital construction projects including Fire Station #3 on Lee Highway, Arlington Mill Community Center on Columbia Pike, Fire Station #5 in Aurora Hills, and Shirlington Library/Signature Theater. He also played an important role in partnering with the Department of Management and Finance on the development of three Capital Improvement Plans, each time increasing the scope, focus, and detail to demonstrate the full range and strategy of the County’s ambitious capital programs.

Prior to his experience with the County, Mr. Emanuel served 21 years with the U.S. Air Force, where he held a variety of engineering leadership positions around the world. While there, he managed multi-year capital improvement and redevelopment plans, significant construction projects and new initiatives while balancing political, cultural, regulatory and financial challenges.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy and a master’s of Civil Engineering in Construction Management from North Carolina State University. He is a registered professional engineer and a member of the Society of American Military Engineers and the American Public Works Association.

Mr. Emanuel, a fitness, cycling and swimming enthusiast, resides in Arlington with his wife and three children.

by Katie Pyzyk — May 1, 2012 at 10:35 am 1,509 3 Comments

The County Board has given the go ahead for renovating the building that will house the county’s Transit Operations Center.

The building, at 2900 S. Eads Street near Crystal City, was originally purchased by the county for use as storage space for the adjacent water treatment plant. It will now house the Arlington Transit (ART) operation center, which will contain administrative and management offices, dispatch and other operating functions, a break room for bus drivers and a classroom for training.

D&A Contractors won the contract, which is valued at a little more than $1 million. The board approved the measure at its meeting on April 21.

Interior renovations will be made to about 5,000 square feet of office space, and will involve HVAC upgrades and work to achieve Americans with Disabilities Act compliance. An emergency generator will also be installed, to keep bus dispatch services running during power outages.

The Department of Environmental Services Transit Bureau requested the upgrades for its ART bus operations staff, which has been operating out of a temporary office across the street at 2910 Jefferson Davis Highway.

Once the renovations are complete, the temporary office will be removed and a vehicle fueling and wash station installed. There will also be extra parking for buses.

by ARLnow.com — April 19, 2012 at 8:40 am 2,650 34 Comments

The Gangs of Arlington — As of 2011 there were 10 active street gangs in Arlington. According to a speaker at a panel discussion held earlier this week, the gangs often try to recruit youths who have recently immigrated to the country. Arlington, however, has an extensive gang prevention program that limits the influence of gangs within the county. [Washington Examiner]

National Drug Take-Back Day — The Arlington County Police Department will be participating in National Drug Take-Back Day next weekend. From 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 28, police will be collecting “expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs” — no questions asked — in an effort to prevent possible abuse and theft. Collection stations will be set up at fire stations 1, 8 and 9. [Arlington County Police]

Earth Day Twitter Chat Today — The Arlington County Department of Environmental Services is hosting a live Twitter chat on the topic of “green gardening” from noon to 1:00 p.m. today. “Join us and get answers to all of your questions related to landscaping and lawn care, native plants, and water conservation,” the county said in an email. One participant who submits a question will be randomly selected to receive a free rain barrel. [Facebook, Twitter]

by ARLnow.com — April 9, 2012 at 3:45 pm 1,861 13 Comments

(Updated at 4:05 p.m.) Despite the holiday, Arlington residents turned out in droves for Saturday’s Environmental Collection and Recycling Event (E-CARE).

The bi-annual event gives Arlington residents an opportunity to safely get rid of hazardous materials and to recycle items that usually aren’t accepted during the weekly residential recycling collection.

This weekend’s event drew 1,341 people to the parking lot of Thomas Jefferson Middle School, according to the Arlington County Department of Environmental Services. DES spokeswoman Shannon Whalen McDaniel said residents filled two tractor trailers with some 30 20 tons of electronics to recycle.

This year’s spring E-CARE also collected about 35.5 tons of hazardous household materials, said Whalen McDaniel, who deemed the event a success.

“The weather for E-CARE was picture perfect and residents turned out!” she wrote.

by ARLnow.com — April 2, 2012 at 11:40 am 3,135 23 Comments

Arlington County is holding its bi-annual Environmental Collection and Recycling Event (E-CARE) this coming weekend.

E-CARE gives Arlington residents an opportunity to safely get rid of hazardous materials like paint, solvents, garden chemicals and items containing mercury. It is also is an opportunity to recycle items that usually aren’t accepted during the weekly residential recycling collection, like electronics, bikes, small metal items, shoes, eyeglasses, and durable medical equipment.

Anybody who drops off household devices that contain mercury, like thermometers and barometers, is eligible to receive a $5 gift card courtesy of trash-to-electricity company Covanta Energy. Fluorescent lights are excluded from the gift card offer.

The event is being held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 7 at Thomas Jefferson Middle School (125 S. Old Glebe Road). E-CARE is open to Arlington residents only — not to businesses or to residents of other jurisdictions.

More than 1,000 residents disposed of 36.8 tons of hazardous material and recycled some 16 tons of electronics at the Fall 2011 E-CARE event, according to the Arlington County Department of Environmental Services.

Photo via Arlington County DES

by Katie Pyzyk — February 17, 2012 at 1:42 pm 1,564 20 Comments

(Updated at 2:05 p.m.) Here we go again. Right in the midst of a stretch of mild weather, we’re bracing for the possibility of snow this weekend.

Forecasters have been predicting some sort of precipitation on Sunday, but it’s unclear whether it will be mainly snow or rain. As is often the case in our area, weather models are changing by the hour. Don’t get your hopes up for a repeat of the Presidents Day Blizzard of 2003 — but do plan on the chance of the season’s most significant snowfall.

In advance of the possible storm, the Arlington County Department of Environmental Services has issued a Phase 1 Alert, meaning crews will pre-treat roads with salt or brine as necessary. They’re also preparing snow removal equipment and personnel for the weekend.

Dominion Virginia Power also reports making preparations. Trucks are being stocked and fueled, and crews are ready to respond to outages. Customers can call 1-866-DOM-HELP to report outages and downed lines.

by ARLnow.com — February 8, 2012 at 1:12 pm 1,925 35 Comments

With snow expected during tonight’s evening commute, Arlington County road crews have been placed on alert and are poised to treat roads when the white stuff starts falling.

Crews are also pre-treating roads with salt and brine this afternoon in preparation for the winter weather, according to the Arlington County Department of Environmental Services.

The Office of Personnel Management announced this morning that federal employees may use unscheduled leave to go home early today, if desired.

File photo

by ARLnow.com — January 20, 2012 at 2:38 pm 3,239 24 Comments

The D.C. area is under a Winter Weather Advisory tonight as an approaching storm is expected to drop snow, sleet and freezing rain on the region.

Forecasters say the precipitation will begin around 11:00 tonight, starting off as snow and sleet before transitioning to freezing rain overnight. The weather event is expected to end as plain rain around 1:00 p.m. tomorrow. Locally, snow and sleet accumulation could total up to an inch, with up to 1/10 inch of freezing rain, according to the National Weather Service.

Arlington County crews are preparing for the winter weather by pre-treating main roads with salt brine (see photo) to guard against icy conditions. Still, the county is asking residents to avoid unnecessary car trips during the storm.

“Team members and their equipment will be on standby overnight and will remain so until the weather event turns to full rain,” said  Arlington Department of Environmental Services spokeswoman Shannon Whalen McDaniel. “Residents are encouraged to stay off the roads due to the potential for hazardous conditions.”

Photo courtesy Arlington DES

by ARLnow.com — November 23, 2011 at 2:05 pm 2,089 13 Comments

Arlington County’s incredibly detail-oriented vacuum leaf collection effort (see the county-produced video, above) is slightly behind schedule due to rainy weather.

Arlington is now planning to begin its first leaf collection pass in ‘Zone 4′ neighborhoods on Friday, while Zone 5 (out of five) will have to wait until next Wednesday. Zone 3 collections are still underway, the Arlington Department of Environmental Services said via Twitter this morning.

A second and final round of vacuum leaf collection will take place in December.

Leaf bag collections are still proceeding as normal, on the day after residents’ normal trash collection.

by ARLnow.com — November 21, 2011 at 3:45 pm 1,442 29 Comments

Editor’s Note: Earlier this month we ran an article based on a county-produced video that profiled the Arlington Department of Environmental Services. Within hours, the video was pulled down. County spokespeople later explained that the video was accidentally uploaded in an incomplete form. The video has since been re-uploaded, and we’re posting it and much of the original article again for the benefit of readers.

With about 375 full-time employees and an operating budget of more than $70 million, the Arlington County Department of Environmental Services is in charge of maintaining the county’s streets, street signs, street lights, water lines, and sewers. It also collects your trash and leaves, runs the county’s snow plows and operates transit programs.

A new video (above) from Arlington County explores the many ways DES is a part of our every day lives.

The video contains a number of staggering facts about the infrastructure within our 26 square mile county, the smallest self-governing county — geographically — in the United States.

For instance, Arlington maintains 961 lane miles of roads, some 100,000 traffic signs, 526 miles of water lines, and enough sanitary sewer lines to stretch from here to Boston, Mass. Also featured in the video: a new remote-controlled camera that searches sewer lines for pipes that have broken due to tree roots and other factors.

by ARLnow.com — November 3, 2011 at 2:30 pm 1,719 13 Comments

Update at 3:20 p.m. — The county has removed the video. The video was not supposed to have been made public yet, says Department of Environmental Services spokeswoman Myllisa Kennedy.

The Department of Environmental Services may be Arlington County government’s largest single department.

With about 375 full-time employees and an operating budget of more than $70 million, the department is in charge of maintaining the county’s streets, street signs, street lights, water lines, and sewers. It also collects your trash and leaves, runs the county’s snow plows and operates transit programs.

A new video (above) from Arlington County explores the many ways DES is a part of our every day lives.

The video contains a number of staggering facts about the infrastructure within our 26 square mile county, the smallest self-governing county — geographically — in the United States.

For instance, Arlington maintains 961 lane miles of roads, some 100,000 traffic signs, 526 miles of water lines, and enough sanitary sewer lines to stretch from here to Boston, Mass. Also featured in the video: a new remote-controlled camera that searches sewer lines for pipes that have broken due to tree roots and other factors.

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