by Sandi Stewart
The bubbles floating atop the pooling water looked just like a bubble bath. But it was the wrong place for that.
I was walking down the path in Soapstone Valley toward the end of April when I saw them, just outside the waste pipe behind an apartment building on Connecticut Avenue. Unfortunately, the bubbles didn’t evoke thoughts of a warm bath, but of the mating mallards I had just seen downstream. How might this impact these ducks and their offspring?
This was the second time I had observed this phenomenon. About four years ago I sent a photo of the bubbled water to the DC Department of Energy and the Environment (DOEE) and they promptly sent an investigator. The investigator discovered that UDC had cleaned its carpets that day and mistakenly used the improper drain pipe for the discharge. DOEE reported that they immediately instructed on UDC how to manage the waste water.
This time I was a bit late in reporting my observation, which may make it more difficult for DOEE to find the culprit. Steve Saari, chief of the watershed at DOEE, advises that we report issues like this immediately to 311. Then, send a photo and description to email@example.com or call him at 202-535-2226 (office) or 202-805-1356 (cell).