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Hundreds of apartment residents left without AC, water over long weekend

Residents of an apartment complex off Columbia Pike were without water and air conditioning over Memorial Day weekend — and are still waiting on the AC to return.

The air conditioning and hot water stopped functioning on Friday at Dominion Towers Apartments, at 1201 S. Courthouse Road. On Sunday evening, water to the building was shut off completely, residents told ARLnow.

“The main water shut-off valve that is controlled by Arlington County has broken, which is why there’s no water to the building,” an email sent from owner Capital Investment Advisors to residents on Sunday read. “In order to resolve this issue, we will need Arlington County and a plumber. Considering it’s a holiday weekend, Maintenance is doing everything they can to contact emergency personnel to assist.”

Arlington’s Department of Environmental Services said management’s description of the issue was not exactly what happened, however.

The broken valve was inside the building’s boiler room and was not owned by the county, DES spokesman Peter Golkin said, but after the valve failed and the complex was unable to find a replacement during the holiday weekend the county offered one it had.

“The Water, Sewer, Streets Bureau actually had a replacement in its inventory and offered it up as a courtesy with the building agreeing to reimburse for a new valve,” Golkin told ARLnow. “The Bureau shut off the main to the building on Sunday to allow for the repair and restored that service from the public main yesterday.”

Running water was restored Monday evening but hot water and air conditioning were still not functioning as of Tuesday afternoon. An email from management said the AC has not been restored due to low water pressure.

“County staff was only involved in going above and beyond to help the residents of the apartment building get their water service back as soon as possible during a long, hot holiday weekend,” Golkin noted.

In an email to ARLnow on Monday, one resident said the property manager “has not been on site all weekend and there has been no timetable for when water and a/c will be restored.”

Another resident told us that management has told its tenants that it hopes to restore both the air conditioning and the hot water by the end of the day today.

To add a bit of extra drama to the situation, the fire department was called to the building earlier this afternoon for a report of a fire, though in the end they only found burnt food on a stove in an eighth floor apartment.

Dominion Towers previously made headlines in May 2018 after the air conditioning malfunctioned and left residents sweltering during a several day stretch of particularly hot weather.

Meanwhile, another large Arlington residential building suffered a multi-day utility outage last week.

Hundreds of residents in The Brittany condominium complex at 4500 S. Four Mile Run Drive found themselves in a similar situation heading into the weekend, without running water for 2+ days last week. For them, it was resolved by Friday afternoon.

Workers found a “catastrophic failure of the main domestic water supply” after management turned the water off for a repair Wednesday morning, according to emails that were shared with ARLnow.

The condominium complex has more than 400 units.

The management company notified residents Wednesday that the water would remain off overnight after the contractor had “unexpected complications” and couldn’t complete the work.

“Management and the [Board of Directors] understand this is not the news everyone was hoping for and the situation may be difficult for some,” said an email. “Please know that all parties are doing everything they can to complete the repairs.”

After a second night without water, and numerous messages sent to ARLnow by frustrated residents, management began providing 1 gallon jugs of water on Friday morning. Nearby condominium complex The Carlton assisted, allowing residents to collect water from a hose to use to flush their toilets, according to an email.

The water came back on just before the holiday weekend.

Photo via Google Maps

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