(Updated at 1 p.m. on 03/21/23) Arlington County is looking to buy its first home for flood prevention.
The county has entered an agreement to buy the home at 4437 18th Street N. in the Waverly Hills neighborhood for $969,200, according to a staff report to the Arlington County Board.
The Board is set to review and approve the agreement during its meeting on Saturday.
The single-family home and detached garage is located in the Spout Run watershed, which has been hit hard by recent flooding events, such as the floods seen in July 2019. It will be torn down and the property will be replanted to serve as “overland relief,” at a cost of around $350,000.
Overland relief is a safe flowpath for flood waters to the nearest stream or storm drain during a large storm event. (An earlier version of this story incorrectly explained overland relief.)
Arlington County is looking to step up its mitigation efforts in response to severe weather events. While the 2019 flood has been described as a “100-year flood” — or a flood that has a 1% chance of happening each year — some research suggests these may occur more frequently due to rising sea levels and more frequent and severe storms, which are linked to climate change.
As part of this effort, last year county staff sent letters of interest to 38 properties in parts of the Waverly Hills and Cherrydale neighborhoods where overland relief is “an essential element” to manage extreme flooding, the report says. Funding for this voluntary property acquisition program was included in the adopted one-year 2022 capital improvement plan.
“The County will pursue acquisitions of properties whose owners are willing to sell to the County, and whose properties would allow for greater access to existing stormwater infrastructure for potential future upgrades, provide overland relief during periods of intense rainfall,and other future engineering solutions,” it says.
“Several” owners have indicated interest in selling to the county, the report added.
ARLnow last reported that there is some interest among residents in selling, while a number of others say that uprooting their families would come at too high a cost.
We were also told several had unanswered questions about the process and how these properties will be managed. One concern is that a piecemeal acquisition process would result in a “checkerboard” of homes and blighted-looking properties.
That “checkerboard” could result in “community fragmentation, difficulty with providing municipal services, and inability to restore full floodplain functionality,” and is one reason local governments may have a hard time getting enough community support for buyouts, according to a Congressional Research Service report.
Other reasons include the potential impacts on property values and housing stock and fears of displacement, it says.
Still, people are more likely to be interested in selling after a major flooding event.
“Buyouts are often a politically unpopular option unless there is a particularly catastrophic event that changes people’s willingness to move and creates unified state and local support for relocation,” the report noted.
Other research shows that property buyouts are one of the most effective tools at the disposal of local governments to combat frequent flooding.
“At their best, they provide a permanent solution,” according to Pew Research. “Effective buyouts prevent future damage, make people safer, and ideally protect entire neighborhoods or communities. Moreover, once bought-out properties become natural open space, they can provide an added benefit of absorbing additional stormwater, further reducing flooding and helping to conserve habitats.”
Arlington County is looking to buy homes within the Spout Run watershed for flood mitigation.
Since last fall, the county has notified some three dozen property owners in the Cherrydale and Waverly Hills civic associations by letter of its interest in buying their properties for stormwater management. The letters targeted areas that were hit hard by recent flooding events, like the floods seen in July 2019.
Should they agree to sell, the county would tear down the homes, remove infrastructure such as driveways, and then regrade and replant the land to minimize erosion. Properties would be preserved for open space.
“Phased property acquisition is a necessary component of a resilient stormwater improvement program to provide overland relief and reduce flood risk to the community,” Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Katie O’Brien said. “Voluntary property acquisitions will be targeted to areas in the five critical watersheds at higher risk of flooding due to existing topography.”
The county’s first priority is to create “overland relief,” or a safe path for stormwater to flow during large rain events, per presentation materials on the county’s website. It contends that there is not enough public space to provide those paths or make infrastructure upgrades, and, crucially, that existing stormwater systems were built assuming sufficient overland relief to handle anything stronger than a 10-year storm (which has a 10% chance of happening annually).
“There is not sufficient available space within existing rights-of-way to maintain the infrastructure, make resilient system upgrades, or to provide overland relief,” the presentation says. “There is no long-term solution to reduce flood risk in Spout Run without adding overland relief.”
The solution is a long time in coming for some in the Waverly Hills Civic Association, which — along with the Cherrydale Citizens Association — has met with Arlington County about stormwater management solutions since 2018.
WHCA President Paul Holland says he has heard several residents express frustrations related “to the extended timeline to identify a solution” to the flooding that occured in recent years.
“For the Waverly Hills Civic Association, stormwater issues are our top priority. Our neighbors were dramatically impacted by major flooding events in 2018 and 2019,” he said.
Both Holland and Cherrydale Citizens Association President Jim Todd said several questions remain unanswered, however.
“There was a lot of concern that the county was really, really vague and didn’t seem to know or be willing to share what they intend to do with any of the properties they intend to acquire,” Todd said, adding that he heard from constituents who felt they didn’t get much clarity after calling the county’s real estate office.
Although WHCA members worked with the county to develop an FAQ page addressing many of the questions, they too have outstanding concerns.
“Our primary concern is that the acquired lots will be well designed and taken care of by the County to become usable park land and/or attractive open space as neighborhood amenities,” said Holland.
Todd, however, said he is unsure how the county will be able to create any meaningful overland relief if only a smattering of people sell.
There is an unassuming pump station near Fort Ethan Allen Park in North Arlington that the county says is “a vital component” of its drinking water distribution system.
The Ethan Allen Pump Station, when needed, ensures proper water pressure for customers, says a spokesman for the Dept. of Environmental Services. But for several years, the Ethan Allen station has had a portable generator outside because the one inside is inoperable, according to a county report.
This weekend, the Arlington County Board is set to review a contract that would see the installation of a new permanent generator inside, which a staff report says will be less of an eye- and ear-sore for the neighborhood.
The Ethan Allen Pump Station is just one part of the complex system that cycles water from the Potomac River to your faucets and then to a wastewater treatment plant in South Arlington, near the county line. The $779,000 maintenance project, meanwhile, is part of a 10-year, $245 million maintenance schedule for the county’s water-sewer infrastructure, which in turn is based on a 2014 master plan aimed at ensuring the system meets current and projected water demands through 2040.
“These programs construct and maintain the infrastructure, facilities and equipment that provide safe, reliable and compliant drinking water, sanitary sewer collection and wastewater treatment for the county’s residents, businesses and visitors,” according to the county.
Arlington, D.C. and Fairfax County get their water from the Army Corps of Engineers’ Dalecarlia Treatment Plant in northwest D.C., which is fed Potomac River water via the Washington Aqueduct. The same treatment plant is responsible for the annual disinfectant change, taking place next week, which will add a slight chlorine taste to the water for hundreds of thousands of residents.
Some 7.5 billion gallons of water annually traverse about 500 miles of pipelines to enter Arlington’s apartments and businesses and single-family homes. Wastewater then goes to the Arlington Water Pollution Control Plant, which treats it before it flows into the Chesapeake Bay.
This system is built on all these parts — including a pump station in North Arlington — functioning. Sometimes, however, that infrastructure fails to deliver clean, colorless water, which is another issue the county is addressing.
Arlington has some old water mains that are prone to breaking particularly during inclement winter weather (which we have not had a lot of this year). With age also comes decades of deposited sediment and minerals, like copper, which can discolor water when disturbed.
While DES says this happens rarely, ARLnow has heard from readers, from time to time, who report discoloration issues with their water.
“In our case, the fouled and rust colored water is likely due to aging pipes,” Bluemont resident PJ Dermer recently told us. “At least this is what Arlington is telling us.”
Relief from discolored water, however, requires upgrading aging infrastructure.
“Replacement of water mains requires much resources and environmental disturbances like digging; lining an older main can solve an issue of water quality and requires far fewer resources and disturbances,” says DES spokesman Peter Golkin.
In the meantime, there are stop gap solutions, like county service workers flushing out the water mains.
Dermer said this week that he believes his complaints have gained traction, as the county is now working on replacing the water main and pipes along his street.
“Arlington’s drinking water is safe and meets all federal and state standards,” Golkin says. “When customers have specific concerns about their water service, we work diligently to address those areas of the system to their satisfaction.”
Water and water systems aren’t the splashiest area for spending on major infrastructure, at least according to one county-conducted poll of residents that asked about capital investment priorities.
Arlington and its neighbors are getting an early start on an annual tap water change.
The Washington Aqueduct, which serves Arlington, D.C. and part of Fairfax County, is preparing for a reservoir rehabilitation project. As a result, the yearly “spring cleaning” practice of switching water disinfectants is kicking off a month early.
Starting this coming Monday, Feb. 20, locals may notice a slight chlorine taste and smell from their tap water. It’s perfectly safe, the county says, and will last through May 15.
More, below, from a county press release.
Arlington County, along with the District of Columbia and northeastern Fairfax County, will modify the water treatment process beginning Feb. 20, 2023, in an annual practice lasting through May 15. The safeguard involves the industry-standard practice of temporarily swapping the system disinfectant from chloramine, used most of the year, to chlorine. This practice ensures that the water mains remain clean and clear.
Although traditionally begun in March, this year’s early start will allow the Washington Aqueduct to complete a reservoir rehabilitation project. The Aqueduct, operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, supplies the three jurisdictions with drinking water and initiates the cleaning process for pipes down the line. The Arlington network is made up of some 500 miles of pipes linked to homes, businesses and schools.
Purification systems and constant monitoring by Arlington staff ensures the County’s water is safe and essentially unchanged, although users may notice a slight difference in smell and taste. The switchover will not involve any interruption in service to customers.
Concurrent with the disinfection switch, Arlington will conduct a system-wide flushing to enhance year-round water quality. Residents may see some of the County’s 3,700 fire hydrants flowing at the curb as part of the procedure.
What to expect Feb. 20 through May 15:
- Customers who experience a chlorine smell or taste from the tap can run the cold-water line for about two minutes before using water from the tap; employ a filter system; or let the water sit in a container for an hour or two as the chlorine smell and taste dissipate.
- Customers who take special precautions to remove chloramine from tap water during the rest of the year should continue such methods during the temporary switch to chlorine. As always, those with special concerns should consult their health care provider.
Arlington’s drinking water continues to meet or exceed all safety standards established by the federal Environmental Protection Agency and Virginia Department of Health.
The County uses approximately 8 billion gallons of tap water each year, around 1 trillion 8-ounce glasses of water, all originating from the Potomac River.
Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) has secured $2.25 million in federal funding for stormwater infrastructure projects in Arlington.
The funding was part of a bipartisan omnibus government funding bill that passed the House of Representatives and the Senate last Thursday, three days before Christmas.
“I am proud to announce that bipartisan legislation which will soon pass into law includes funding I secured for worthy projects in Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church, and Fairfax County,” Beyer said in a statement.
The omnibus appropriations bill helps pay for each of Beyer’s fifteen community project funding requests. Four requests were partially funded in Arlington.
It awards $750,000 for stormwater projects in the Gulf Branch watershed downstream of Military Road and in the Lower Long Branch Watershed along S. Walter Reed Drive. These will include a mix of “gray” infrastructure, such as culverts and storage tanks, and “green infrastructure,” or nature-based solutions.
“The Project will treat and store polluted stormwater runoff, reduce impervious coverage, and mitigate climate vulnerability,” the county said in its request, reprinted on Beyer’s website.
Another $1.5 million will fund rehabilitations of segments of two sanitary sewer interceptor pipes. Interceptor pipes “intercept” the flow from smaller pipes and funnel stormwater and sewage to a treatment plant.
The county requested $2 million to rehabilitate 5,876 linear feet of a 30-inch pipe that runs from Arlington Blvd to Sparrow Pond. The pond is slated to be rehabilitated next year. The pipe, constructed through the Four Mile Run stream valley in 1975, serves the East Falls Church neighborhood as well as parts of the City of Falls Church and Fairfax County.
The county also requested $1.68 million to rehabilitate a 2,906-foot section of a large but decrepit pipe in order to “support continued growth in the Rosslyn area.”
“The subject sewer was originally constructed in the 1930s,” the county said in its request. “It was most recently inspected in 2017 and many sections were deemed to require immediate rehabilitation due to structural deficiencies which allow for significant infiltration and inflow and could lead to structural failure.”
In his statement, Beyer thanked his fellow representatives for enacting the legislation and the local leaders who identified and developed the requests.
“This project funding will make our community healthier, support clean energy, boost our transportation infrastructure, support affordable housing, feed the hungry, and help improve law enforcement transparency,” he said.
Additionally, the omnibus appropriations bill included language to officially rename North Arlington Post Office after letter carrier Jesus Collazos, who emigrated from Colombia in 1978 and served 25 years as a USPS postal carrier in Arlington before losing his life to COVID-19 in June 2020.
A year into new stormwater requirements for single-family home projects, homebuilders and remodelers say even the improved process is laborious and expensive, costing homeowners extra money.
On the other hand, Arlington County says that permit review times have shortened and that the program will be evaluated for possible improvements.
Before September 2021, builders had to demonstrate that a given property had ways to reduce pollution in stormwater runoff to comply with state regulations aimed at cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay.
Last year, the county began requiring projects that disturb at least 2,500 square feet of land to demonstrate the redeveloped property can retain at least 3 inches of stormwater during flash flooding events through features such as tanks, planters and permeable paver driveways. Builders must also refurbish the soil with soils that increase water retention.
Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services spokesman Peter Golkin says improvements like these “are vital as we continue the work toward a flood resilient Arlington,” especially as “the pace of single family home construction in Arlington remains strong.”
But the regulations are fairly new and could change, Golkin said.
“The first projects in LDA 2.0 are now coming to construction, and the County is entering the phase of evaluation to identify potential adjustments and improvements,” he said. ”The County expects to have more information about any LDA 2.0 updates by mid-2023.”
The updates were intended to address increasing infill development and rainfall intensity, and the downstream effects of runoff and impacts to the county’s aging storm drains and local streams.
Builders and remodelers say the changes have caused new headaches and resulted in projects shrinking in size.
“It only gets more complicated, costs more, and takes longer,” says architect Trip DeFalco.
Andrew Moore, president of Arlington Designer Homes, said he’s avoided this process in many projects after telling the clients about the potential costs and permitting time.
“People are motivated to think, do I need that bump-out to be 14 feet? I can live with 12 feet,” he said. “It saves you $50,000 and 3 months.”
Despite the hassle, permit applications are still coming in at a clip of, on average, 20 per month.
Responding to redevelopment
In the wake of the destructive July 2019 flash flood, residents has discussed and voted on ways to address stormwater mitigation in Arlington, while the county has put more funding toward stormwater improvement projects.
The issue of runoff has figured into debates about how to protect streams and the impacts of allowing the construction of two- to eight-unit “Missing Middle” houses in Arlington, though such projects could only occupy the footprint currently allowed for single-family homes on a given property.
In the wake of the flash flooding, the county introduced new regulations for what it says is one of the biggest runoff contributors: new single-family homes.
“Ensuring more robust control of runoff from new single family homes, which create the majority of new impervious area from regulated development activity, remains a top County priority as part of the comprehensive Flood Resilient Arlington initiative,” Golkin said.
An average of 167 single-family homes have been built and an average of 155 torn down annually over the last 11 years, according to Arlington’s development tracker tool. Demolitions peaked in 2015 and completed projects in 2016.
A past of pollution
DeFalco, who spent a few years as a builder, too, says the “county’s hands are a little bit tied” on this issue because they have to meet state requirements aimed at curbing pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.
Runoff brought fertilizer into the bay, causing algae and plants to grow quickly and then die, sink to the bottom, where they decayed and used up oxygen, says civil engineer Roger Bohr.
“The state is pushing on the county and the federal government is pushing on the state,” DeFalco said. “But the implementation on the homeowner level is pretty onerous… I don’t think the residents have any idea what’s going in their side yards.”
Golkin compared the transition period right now to when new state stormwater management requirements took effect in 2014.
“Staff and the building and engineering community ultimately came up to speed,” he said.
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.
Ballston Beaver Pond is in need of a new name because, well, there are no more beavers.
An online survey to rename Ballston Beaver Pond is set to close on Wednesday, June 1, as renovations at the pond are on hold due to a delay in material delivery.
Residents are asked to suggest names for the pond that either “reflect a park’s unique character and features” or one that “honors someone who made a significant and positive impact to Arlington County,” the survey says. Prior to the renovation, the pond was home to a variety of wildlife, including beavers. But the county is installing beaver baffles to discourage them from returning and building dams again.
The survey says residents will also be able to weigh in on a list of potential park names, compiled at least in part from the survey, in June. Aileen Winquist, the communication manager for the renovation project, said the final name is set to be presented to the Arlington County Board in September.
Renovations at the Ballston pond, which include converting it from a dry pond to a wetland, are paused because of a delay in the delivery of a concrete block that will be installed in the upper part of the pond, according to the project’s website. Winquist said the block is expected to arrive in mid-June.
“That’s kind of the last grading work that will need to be done,” she said. Much of the excavation and grading work was completed in April.
“The contractor has made excellent progress so far and the project is on schedule,” she said. The renovations are expected to wrap up in July 2023.
After installing the concrete block, which Winquist said would be a settling area for sediment and trash from water coming into the pond, renovations will continue with building viewing platforms and planting vegetation.
“The remaining work will be to install the platform — there’s a viewing platform on the east side of the pond — and then to do all the planting,” she said, adding “thousands of plants will be planted in the pond.”
The renovation process faced a series of interruptions before it began in December 2021. The project was planned, but in a holding pattern, between 2013 and 2019. It went into hiatus soon after the redesigned project went public in 2019 due to “COVID-19 and related budget concerns,” according to a county report in June 2021.
The current renovation project is a “high-priority project” in the county’s Stormwater Management Program and “contributes to restoring the Chesapeake Bay,” according to the project’s website.
Other renovation measures listed include constructing turtle basking stations and other wildlife components, planting wetland vegetation, and removing invasive species. The design plan for the project also includes spaces for a shrub wetland and a marsh.
The pond was initially built as a dry pond, which she said meant stormwater runoff from I-66 would temporarily sit in the pond area. That changed after the beavers arrived and built their dams. The renovations, meanwhile, aim to convert the pond into a wetland.
“The pond will have a lot of flow channels for the water to flow through, and as it’s filtered through the wetland plants and soils, that will remove pollutants from the stormwater runoff,” Winquist said.
County Board’s APS Covid Concern — “Is the Arlington school system inadvertently encouraging parents to not report COVID-like symptoms among students? That’s the concern of a number of County Board members, who say the current testing requirements make it more likely parents will stay mum rather than go to the hassle of getting their children checked out.” [Sun Gazette]
Big Vehicle Fire Shuts Down Route 50 — From Dave Statter on Saturday night: “Some fuzzy traffic-cam video showing a vehicle fire that has all lanes of Route 50 eastbound shut prior to Pershing. @ArlingtonVaFD & @ArlingtonVaPD handling.” [Twitter]
Police Upping Seat Belt Enforcement — “The high-visibility national seat belt campaign, Click It or Ticket, which coincides with the Memorial Day holiday, runs from May 23 through June 6, 2022, and works towards reducing the number of fatalities that occur when drivers and passengers fail to buckle up.” [ACPD]
‘Salt Line’ Makes WaPo Dining Guide — “Well-shucked oysters, fluffy Parker House rolls, a comfortable room staged with nautical mementos: Just about everything that helps pack ’em in at the Salt Line in Navy Yard can be found at its young spinoff in Ballston. Really, the only ingredient missing from the original is a water view, although if you squint from a table inside, you can imagine boats and waves beyond the already-popular outdoor patio.” [Washington Post]
Worries About the Local Water Supply — “A train crash, a power plant discharge, an underwater pipeline rupture — or an act of terrorism — could cripple the drinking water supply of the nation’s capital. And there’s no Plan B. D.C. and its Maryland and Virginia suburbs are dependent on the Potomac River as the main — or sole — source of drinking water.” [WTOP]
Annual Street Sweeping Starting Soon — From Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services: “Another round of Arlington street sweeping starts next month. Last year, 9,178 lane miles were cleaned for smoother rides and a healthier Chesapeake watershed.” [Twitter]
Beyer Banned from Russia — From Rep. Don Beyer: “A new Kremlin list of people banned from traveling to Russia just dropped; I am less interested than they might think in traveling to a country that is indiscriminately bombing Ukrainian civilians.” [Twitter]
APS Graduations at Constitution Hall — “Arlington Public Schools plans on having graduation ceremonies for its three main high schools back in their traditional spot – D.A.R. Constitution Hall – for the first time since 2019.” [Sun Gazette]
Lane Closures for Building Demolition — From the City of Falls Church: “From Sun 5/22 thru Thu 5/26, select lanes will be closed 9PM to 5:30AM while the building on the corner of Broad St. and Washington St. is demolished.” [Twitter]
It’s Monday — Partly sunny, with a high near 73 and a slight chance of showers later in the afternoon. [Weather.gov]
Residents of Arlington, D.C. and part of Fairfax County will notice a different taste to their tap water today.
The Washington Aqueduct, from which our tap water is pumped across the Potomac and throughout Arlington, is starting its annual spring pipe cleaning today. The seasonal switch in the disinfectant used by the aqueduct will run through May 16.
During that time, residents will likely notice that their water smells and tastes a bit more like a swimming pool. That’s because chlorine will be used as the disinfectant rather than chloramine, which is used during all other times of the year.
The change does not affect water safety, officials say.
More from a recent Arlington County press release:
Arlington County, the District of Columbia and northeastern Fairfax County will clean out their tap water networks starting Monday, March 21, repeating a safe, annual process.
Service will continue uninterrupted during the procedure, which runs through May 16. During that time, drinking water from the tap may taste slightly different but the water is essentially unchanged thanks to the purification process.
Arlington and nearby jurisdictions receive their water from the Washington Aqueduct, operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In an industry-standard practice, the Corps temporarily switches its system disinfectant from chloramine to chlorine to help clean pipes and maintain system flow.
The Aqueduct continues to add a corrosion inhibitor during the process to reduce the potential release of lead in regional system pipes.
During the spring cleaning, local water authorities continually monitor drinking water for safe chlorine levels as well as conduct system-wide flushing to enhance water quality. Residents may see open fire hydrants as part of the routine.
What to expect
- This temporary cleaning can bring with it a slightly noticeable chlorine smell and taste to tap water. In response, customers can run the cold water tap for about two minutes before using, employ a filter system or let the water sit in a container for an hour or two to allow the chlorine smell and taste to dissipate.
- Customers who take special precautions to remove chloramine from tap water during the rest of the year should continue such methods during the temporary switch to chlorine. As always, those with special concerns should consult their health care provider.
The region’s drinking water continues to meet or exceed all safety standards established by the federal Environmental Protection Agency and Virginia Department of Health.
The Arlington County Board is set to approve a contract for a new water main.
The new main will serve the Fort Myer Heights neighborhood, near Rosslyn, and will run under the N. Rhodes Street bridge over Route 50.
“This contract is for the construction of a 12-inch watermain between 14th Street North and North Queen Street,” notes a county staff report. “This contract includes approximately 230 feet of 12-inch ductile iron pipe suspended under the North Rhodes Street / Arlington Boulevard overpass Bridge. The proposed water main will provide system redundancy and improved pressure in the neighborhood.”
At its meeting tomorrow (Saturday), the Board will consider a $1.14 million contract, plus an approximate $230,000 contingency, with Alexandria-based contractor Sagres Construction Corporation.
The new main will replace a smaller pipe that broke and has not been returned to service.
“The Fort Myer Heights Watermain Improvement project is part of the effort to interconnect water supply systems to ensure redundancy,” says the county staff report. “The old 6″ watermain under Route 50 that connected the two sides of the Fort Myer Height’s neighborhood was isolated and abandoned in place after a water main break. The proposed 12″ watermain will interconnect the two sides of the neighborhood and thereby provide the essential redundancy and improved water pressure.”
Residents in the area can expect some temporary traffic and water disruptions during the project. A construction timeline was not given.