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Repairs Continue on 30″ Water Main

by ARLnow.com January 24, 2013 at 5:20 pm 20 Comments

Repairs to a 30" water main (photo via Arlington DES) Repairs to a 30" water main (photo via Arlington DES)

Repairs to a large 30-inch water main will continue into the weekend, causing continued low water pressure in a number of Arlington neighborhoods.

A leak was discovered in a 30-inch water main near the intersection of Arlington Boulevard and N. Irving Street last Wednesday. The leak necessitated the replacement of a portion of the water main.

Installation of the last section of pipe started this afternoon. According to Arlington County Dept. of Environmental Services (DES) spokeswoman Jennifer Heilman, the repairs are expected to wrap up this weekend, “barring unforeseen circumstances.”

While the 30-inch main remains out of service, residents of Alcova Heights, Arlington Heights, Barcroft, Buckingham, Douglas Park, Lyon Park, Penrose and other neighborhoods may experience low water pressure during peak use hours.

“County crews are systematically working to adjust valves to reduce the area of low pressure impact while repairs are underway,” DES said in an email. “The potential will continue for customers to experience low water pressure during the morning (6-9 a.m.) and evening (5-9 p.m.) peak hours until the repairs are complete.”

“We ask our customers to help reduce peak demand by minimizing water usage when possible (Example: running dishwashers and washing machines during off-peak hours and only when full, and showering at different times),” DES said.

While repairs on the main continue, the cold temperatures are causing more problems for Arlington’s water infrastructure.

Just this morning, DES crews responded to reported water main leaks at 26th Street S. and S. Clark Street in Crystal City, and at S. Orme Street and Columbia Pike, near the Sheraton National Hotel.

“With extremely low temperatures forecast this week, we may see additional leaks further reducing pressure in the system,” DES said. “If you see a leak, or have other water concerns, contact the Water Emergency hotline at 703-228-6555.”

Photos via Arlington County Dept. of Environmental Services

  • Alex

    We really need to do more about our aging, fragile water infrastructure here. It’s somewhat ironic that Arlington County is spending so much on an aquatics center when our county’s main water system is so dysfunctional…

    • CarolineC

      I’d say it’s more cause and effect than ironic! Arlington seems to prioritize vanity projects over the basics functions of local government, and thus we have a crumbling infrastructure. Aquatics centers, streetcars, etc. are great if you have unlimited resources. Arlington doesn’t right now. So let’s start with getting infrastructure basics in shape before these other vanity projects.

      • Josh S

        It’s hardly something you can call out Arlington about. Pipes are aging throughout the country. And the cause and effect you refer to is extremely difficult to comprehend. How is talking about building a swimming pool causing aged pipes to fail?

  • Melissa

    This main break is affecting Nauck, too, but I think we have an additional main issue. Yesterday and today, I saw crews working in the median/crossover on Walter Reed Drive at Monroe Street. The were digging in the roadway, so I assume there’s another water main break or similar problem there. Any more information available?

    • Dave

      The work at Walter Reed and Monroe was indeed a repair to a 6″ water main. Water pressure issues resultant from re-routing of water around the shut down 30″ main caused several main leaks and breaks in the last week, some of which exacerbated other low pressure issues. Now that the 30″ is back in service, we anticipate the number of breaks to reduce, but County staff will continue to monitor the pressures into the weekend, particularly at low and peak usage times to ensure that the system is back to normal.

  • CrystalMikey

    The only advantage to this. It keeps people from waiting to turn left on Irving from Washington Blvd (especially helpful during morning/evening rush).

    • nom de guerre

      I’m going to guess you meant taking a left from eastbound Arlington Blvd. (Route 50) on to North Irving because if you made a left from Washington Blvd. on to North Irving you would be going the wrong way on a one-way street.

      • CrystalMikey

        That is correct!

      • CrystalMikey

        I’m one of those poor souls who has to drive out to Fairfax for work…so I know the issue all to well.

  • Kathy

    Many thanks goes out to the county crews working in this frigid weather.

  • GreasyHair

    Please hurry.

    • Consider

      You might want to consider a slight career detour into Elvis tributes…..

      • dungston

        You might want to consider heading right for the career bypass around comedy…

  • Rick

    The county is doing something about the aging pipe infastructure! Come on up to rock spring and drive on our Afghanistan-esque roads while a new backup main from Dalecarlia to the pumping station is laid. I can only assume the work will radiate from there in the coming years.

    • Porknug

      You should be thankful if that’s the worst problem your pasty bloated arse ever has to deal with. At least you don’t have to take a dump in a hole or pump your own water from a well.

    • drax

      Yes, the county is installing a new backup main, like you said. And it’s not going to repave the roads until that’s done, because paving them now would be a waste of money.

    • speonjosh

      Afghanistan-esque? Dude, have you ever actually spent any time in a Third World country? Our streets are nothing like what you find abroad.

      • speonjosh


  • YTK

    Kudos to all those who are out in this cold reparing this mess.

  • Id

    Sorry about that. I did not know my BM would have caused such trouble.


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