An advisory warning to people to avoid contact with water from Donaldson Run has been lifted.
The advisory was put into place on July 11 after sewage from a broken pipe leaked into the stream by Military Drive. Two additional leaks followed three days later, causing the county to issue another advisory.
The first leak spewed 4,500 gallons of sewage. The second leak released 9,000 gallons and the third had 11,250 gallons, county spokeswoman Meghan McMahon said.
The sewage in the water was naturally flushed out and the county fixed the broken pipe, as well as the protective casing around it.
The county recently tested the water downstream from the break for E. Coli and found normal levels, according to a county press release.
Although there is no more sewage in the water, people should still never drink or bathe in stream water, according to the county. Residents should also always wash their hands after coming in contact with water from local streams.
(Updated at 11:10 p.m.) Multiple sewage leaks have led Arlington County staff to warn residents to continue avoiding contact with water from Donaldson Run near and downstream from the pedestrian bridge above Military Road.
A sewage pipe running through Donaldson Run broke on Saturday, causing a sewage spill of 4,500 gallons, Arlington County spokeswoman Meghan McMahon said. Since fixing the initial break, the county has found two additional leaks.
The second leak, found on Monday, released 9,000 gallons of sewage, and the county does not yet know how much the third one — found today — has leaked, McMahon said.
Signs about the sewage are currently posted along and at entrances of the Donaldson Run trail.
“There has been a sewage release to the stream. As a precaution, please avoid contact with stream water,” according to the signs.
Arlington County also sent out two Arlington Alerts, one to notify residents of the sewage leak advisory on July 11 and a second one today (July 14) to let people know it was still in place. The advisory will be in place for several more days, McMahon said.
“Crews are working now to setup a bypass so they can completely replace the pipe in this area. Crews are working as fast as they can, but this replacement will likely take a few days,” McMahon said.
The advisory warns people and their pets to avoid any contact with the stream.
“The public is advised to stay away from the affected water and to keep children and pets away until further notice, to eliminate the risk of exposure to raw sewage in the stream. People should not fish in the stream or have any contact with the water — including wading or swimming — until further notice from the County,” according to the advisory.
The county decided to replace the entire pipe in Donaldson Run now instead of later, as planned, because of the short period of time between the three leaks, she said.
“Replacing the pipe is the best way to prevent future spills,” McMahon said. “Arlington also has sanitary sewer maintenance programs including flushing, TV camera inspection and re-lining efforts.”
The breaks in the pipe were all the result of the casing around it shifting from water erosion, which is common in older pipes like many in Arlington, she said.
“Sanitary sewer lines are common in stream valleys (the lowest point of the stream) and sanitary sewer breaks are common in urban communities like Arlington, which have older pipes and infrastructure,” McMahon noted.
When a leak happens, the county will allow nature to flush out the sewage over time. This usually takes about three to five days. The county does not consider flushing streams out with chlorine — which kills everything in the stream — to be an option, McMahon said.
“Many Arlington streams are in County parks where residents are free to walk along the stream valleys, but the stream water can contain microorganisms that can make people sick, regardless of the stream location,” McMahon said.
In order to stay safe around stream water, even uncontaminated water, residents should always wash hands after touching the water, avoid getting water in their mouths or eyes, only wade in the water instead of swimming or bathing and never drink the stream water, McMahon said.
Advisory Board Considering Vacant Rosslyn Tower — The D.C.-based Advisory Board Company is considering a move to Arlington — specifically, to the vacant 1812 N. Moore Street office tower in Rosslyn. The tower is the tallest building in Arlington and has remained without a tenant since it was completed two years ago. Arlington and Virginia officials are facing off with D.C. officials in an effort to woo the $2.4 billion company. [Washington Post]
Sewage Spills in Arlington — Two separate sewage spills were reported in Arlington this weekend. On Saturday, the county alerted residents that a broken sewage pipe had released sewage into Donaldson Run. On Sunday, the county warned of a raw sewage release in Four Mile Run, near the 700 block of Arlington Mill Drive. Residents should avoid Four Mile Run from the site of the spill to the Potomac, the county said. [WTOP]
GGW: County Must Seek Transit Consensus — As Arlington begins to chart a course for its next generation of smart growth, one pro-transit writer says the county should do a better job of seeking support for its future transit investments. “As we recently learned from the fallout over the streetcar, broad-based support has to be a top priority for any project,” writes Dennis Jaffe. “If it’s not there, sustainable transportation projects won’t be so sustainable.” [Greater Greater Washington]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
County Relies on Tips for Snow Violations — All recent snow-removal ordinance violation notices sent out by Arlington County were sent as the result of tips from residents, not a proactive enforcement effort. [Sun Gazette]
Sewage Spill in Spout Run — Arlington residents and their pets are advised to avoid Spout Run south of Lee Highway for the next day or so due to a “minor sewage spill.” [Arlington Alert]
Yorktown Senior Is Top B-Ball Prospect — Yorktown High School senior Mikayla Venson is one of the top-ranked girls’ basketball players in Virginia. However, due to injuries she hasn’t played for the Patriots since 2011. She will be attending the University of Virginia in the fall. [Yahoo! Sports]
Historic Fraber House’s New Owners — Last year, a large oak tree fell on the Fraber House in Cherrydale, just days before the county-owned home was set to receive a local historic designation. Nonetheless, the county was able to fix up the 1913 home and sell it to a local couple. The pair, Charu and Colin McDermott, work in the building trades and are thus well-suited to help maintain the historic home. [Preservation Arlington]
Lawmakers Honor Arlington Notables — The Virginia General Assembly has passed resolutions honoring a number of notable Arlington residents and institutions. [Sun Gazette]
Flickr pool photo by Christaki
The store had been closed since May 2012 after being flooded with raw sewage. It reopened this morning following an extensive clean-up process and a complete renovation.
Harris Teeter employees held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 8:00 a.m.
The 44,000 square foot store will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It features a redesigned pharmacy, in addition to “all new flooring; new drywall and paint; updated equipment; wooden display cases; new fixtures; an expanded seating area; an expanded floral department; new prepared food stations including pizza, an Asian hot bar, and a made-to-order sandwich bar; and sustainable décor elements.”
Harris Teeter’s insurers are currently suing Arlington County for more than $1 million to recover losses caused by the sewage backup.
Photo courtesy Catherine Becker/Harris Teeter
The Harris Teeter store near Potomac Yard, which has been closed since May 2012 after being flooded with raw sewage, will hold its grand reopening in two weeks.
The store, at 3600 S. Glebe Road, will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 23. Events will also be held that weekend in honor of the reopening.
The store will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
From a Harris Teeter press release:
The 44,000 square foot store, part of The Eclipse luxury mixed-use development, underwent a complete renovation including: all new flooring; new drywall and paint; updated equipment; wooden display cases; new fixtures; an expanded seating area; an expanded floral department; new prepared food stations including pizza, an Asian hot bar, and a made-to-order sandwich bar; and sustainable décor elements. The Company also re-designed its pharmacy to feature an open floor plan that will allow our pharmacists to better serve their customers.
In each of its stores, including its location at Potomac Yard, Harris Teeter considered sustainable building design throughout its re-design process. The refrigerated cases will feature motion detection lighting; the company will also install doors with LED lights on the refrigerated cases as well as LED spotlighting throughout the store to reduce energy consumption. Harris Teeter originally installed both an energy management lighting system and a heat reclamation system in this store and will continue to utilize these technologies to reduce energy waste.
Harris Teeter’s insurers are currently suing Arlington County for more than $1 million to recover losses caused by the sewage backup.
Arlington County is being sued for the sewage backup that has shuttered the Potomac Yard Harris Teeter supermarket for more than a year.
Harris Teeter’s insurers are seeking more than $1 million in damages from the county, claiming negligence led to the clog and backup that flooded the store with raw sewage in May 2012. As first reported by WJLA, the lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court on Sept. 17.
In the lawsuit, the insurers claim that Arlington failed to properly maintain its sewage system and ignored warnings of potential equipment failure before the clog. Reached by ARLnow.com, Arlington County officials declined comment, citing the pending litigation.
Harris Teeter said last month that it plans to reopen the Potomac Yard store, at 3600 S. Glebe Road, at some point in October.
The grocery store closed in May 2012 after it was flooded with raw sewage, the result of a clog at the nearby Arlington County Water Pollution Control Plant. The contents of the store were scrapped, and construction on a brand new interior has been underway since this spring, when the company announced plans to reopen later this year.
Harris Teeter is now hiring personnel for the store, according to a number of online job listings posted over the past 10 days. The store reapplied for a Virginia ABC wine and beer license and keg permit on Monday.
The store will reopen at some point in October, Harris Teeter spokeswoman Catherine Becker told ARLnow.com yesterday.
Advisory Lifted for Local Waterways — A warning from Arlington County to stay out of Arlington Branch, Lower Long Branch and Four Mile Run has been lifted. The advisory was issued on April 9 after a sewage release near Columbia Pike. “The precaution was issued to allow time for the effect of the release to be diminished by natural flushing of the streams,” the county said. [Arlington County]
Husband of Track Coach Caught Boston Chaos on Camera — John Walls, the husband of Bishop O’Connell cross country and track coach Cindy Walls, captured the chaos of the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings on video. Walls was waiting for Cindy and his daughter Katie to cross the finish line when one of the bombs exploded across the street from where he was seated. He was shaken but uninjured. [WJLA]
Burned-Down House Cited for Code Violations — The Hall’s Hill house that was destroyed by fire yesterday has been cited several times in the past for building code violations. Officials are now investigating whether property owner Paul Chretien was in violation of the code by allowing more than four unrelated people to live in the house. [Washington Post]
Police Seek Theft Suspect — The Arlington County Police Department is asking for the public’s help in locating a 21-year-old man who stole an iPhone. “Police believe that the suspect has also been involved in several other crimes,” according to a press release. [Arlington County]
The sewage release was the result of a blocked 12 inch sewage pipe, in the area between the Dominion Plaza Apartments (1200 S. Courthouse Road) and the Arlington Village Condominiums (1400 S. Barton Street), near Columbia Pike.
Crews have successfully cleared the blockage and stopped the flow of raw sewage into Arlington Branch, according to the Arlington Department of Environmental Services.
The county says people and pets should avoid Arlington Branch, Lower Long Branch and Four Mile Run until further notice.
“Residents should not fish in the streams or have any contact with the waters — including wading or swimming,” the county said in a press release (below). “The advisory to avoid all contact is considered an extra precaution to allow the effect of the discharge to be diminished by natural flushing of the streams.”
Arlington County today advised residents to avoid water downstream of a sewage release that occurred between the Dominion Plaza Apartments and Arlington Village Condominiums, just above the Army Navy Country Club into Arlington Branch, a tributary to Lower Long Branch. Arlington Branch, Lower Long Branch and Four Mile Run from Columbia Pike downstream to the Potomac River should be avoided. This is a precautionary measure following the discovery of a sewage release resulting from a blocked 12” sewage pipe. Water, Sewer, Streets crews are actively working to remove the blockage from the pipe and stop the release.
Residents are advised to stay away from the affected waters and to keep their pets away until further notice, to eliminate the risk of exposure to untreated sewage. Residents should not fish in the streams or have any contact with the waters – including wading or swimming – until further notice from the County. The advisory to avoid all contact is considered an extra precaution to allow the effect of the discharge to be diminished by natural flushing of the streams.
Recreational areas affected adjacent to the streams include Fraser Park, Troy Park and Four Mile Run Park.
NOTE: Residents are reminded that stream water can contain microorganisms that can make people sick, whether the stream is located in an urban area or in the middle of a forest. Even after the discharge is naturally flushed from the streams, the County’s normal precautions for safe use of streams apply. You can find information and safety tips on Arlington streams, including information on reporting stream pollution incidents, on the Department of Environmental Service website.
Sarah Maiellano says she is going to deliver the letters to the Arlington County Board at their Saturday meeting. The letters urge the Board to “take any and all actions necessary to hasten the reopening of the Harris Teeter grocery store located in the Eclipse building.”
(The text of the letter can be found below, after the jump.)
The Harris Teeter in question, at 3600 S. Glebe Road near Potomac Yard, remains closed with no reopening date in sight. The grocery store was flooded with raw sewage on May 11, 2012, due to a clog at the nearby Arlington County Water Pollution Control Plan.
It has since been thoroughly cleaned, but the company says it’s “actively working with both the county and our landlord to discuss solutions to make sure that which happened does not happen again.”
“Once those solutions are implemented, we are ready to start work on the interior of the store, and at that point, Harris Teeter will make various public announcements to share the good news with everyone,” company spokeswoman Danna Jones told ARLnow.com earlier this year.
At its January meeting the County Board adjourned to closed session to discuss, as County Board Chair Walter Tejada put it, “two matters requiring consultation with the County Attorney and staff concerning pending claims made by Harris Teeter and others, arising from an incident on May 11, 2012.” A county spokeswoman declined to say what claims were being made.
Photo courtesy Douglas Wendt
A sewage backup that flooded an Arlington Harris Teeter store last May is still causing a stink in the backrooms of county government.
The Harris Teeter at 3600 S. Glebe Road, near Potomac Yard, remains closed with no reopening date in sight. The grocery store was flooded with raw sewage on May 11, 2012, due to a clog at the nearby Arlington County Water Pollution Control Plan.
Earlier this month, Arlington County spokeswoman Mary Curtius told ARLnow.com that “no civil lawsuits have been filed” against the county as a result of the sewage incident. But at its Tuesday meeting the County Board adjourned to closed session to discuss, as County Board Chair Walter Tejada put it, “two matters requiring consultation with the County Attorney and staff concerning pending claims made by Harris Teeter and others, arising from an incident on May 11, 2012.”
It’s unclear what “claims” are being made. Asked about the behind-closed-doors session, Curtius declined further comment.
Harris Teeter says they’re “actively working with both the county and our landlord to discuss solutions to make sure that which happened does not happen again,” but a company rep declined to give additional specifics.
The closed session was not the only hush-hush County Board action to take place on Tuesday. The Washington Post reports that the Board unanimously approved 5 to 10 percent raises for three top county officials at the end of the public meeting. The raises come as the county faces a $25 to 50 million budget gap for the upcoming fiscal year.
A Harris Teeter spokeswoman said the store will not reopen until the company can be assured that measures are in place to prevent another catastrophic sewage incident.
“We are actively working with both the county and our landlord to discuss solutions to make sure that which happened does not happen again,” said company spokeswoman Danna Jones. “Once those solutions are implemented, we are ready to start work on the interior of the store, and at that point, Harris Teeter will make various public announcements to share the good news with everyone.”
An Arlington County spokeswoman would not comment on whether the county was working with Harris Teeter to reduce the risk of another sewage backup or mitigate the effects of the May incident. The county did say that, so far, no lawsuits have been filed against the county in response to last year’s sewage backup.
“I can confirm that no civil lawsuits have been filed,” said Arlington County spokeswoman Mary Curtius.
Photo courtesy Douglas Wendt
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.
Officials say a clog at the Arlington County Water Pollution Control Plant is what caused raw sewage to flow into the Harris Teeter supermarket on S. Glebe Road, near Potomac Yard.
The incident started on the morning of Friday, May 11. An excess buildup of rags and debris got into a pump station and clogged the station’s suction lines, according to Water Pollution Control Bureau Chief Larry Slattery. A sewage line then started to back up, ultimately leading to an overflow of raw sewage into Harris Teeter and the parking garage adjacent to the store.
Harris Teeter is closed indefinitely while crews work to sanitize the store.
Slattery said the sewage wound up in the store because it’s located “near the lower end of the collection system” — only a short distance across Jefferson Davis Highway from the Water Pollution Control Plant. He was unable to confirm how much sewage flowed into the store and the parking garage.
Temporary pumps were put in place by early Friday afternoon to help clear out the sewage backup. The debris was cleared out of the pump station and the sewage system was back to normal early Saturday morning, Slattery said.
“As soon as we figured out what [the problem] was we took steps as fast as possible to correct the issue,” he said.
As a result of the incident, Arlington County will now be increasing the frequency of sewage pumping system cleanings from once every year to once every three months. The pump that became clogged had last been cleaned out in January, according to Slattery.
“We’re taking steps to check out the sanitary sewer lines,” Slattery said. “That’s not the kind of customer service we want to provide. We don’t want this to ever happen.”
Photo courtesy Douglas Wendt