One week ago, a work crew from DC Water was working hard at Albemarle and 32nd Streets to rectify dangerous puddling that occurs there during hard rains. (The same area has seen substantial erosion, which threatens that very sidewalk.) It seems to get worse with every hard rain.
What was the DC Water crew doing? John Lisle, the communications director at DC Water, tells us: “I am told the crew increased the size of the catch basin connection to the storm sewer to better accommodate the volume of storm runoff across the intersection.”
Hopefully, motorists will have smooth sailing through this intersection during the next heavy rainstorm. Actually, let me rephrase – how about smooth motoring?
Two days later another crew came out to repair a water main break on Albemarle at Linnean.
The men showed me the cracked pipe. The water wasn’t exactly gushing out of the pipe, but there was a steady stream.
Forest Hills had two water main breaks, if not more, over the summer: One at Davenport and 30th and another at Davenport and Connecticut. Both occurred during very hot weather. Extremes in heat and cold are hard on our water main pipes. Severe cold causes our iron pipes to contract, and iron is material that does not take temperature changes very well. Extreme summer heat can cause the earth above the pipe to shift, which stresses the pipe. In both cases, the mains crack and leak.
The usual symptom of such a leak is water on the roadway with no apparent source. If you notice such a leak or even a leak from a neighbor’s house, and it’s causing icy conditions, call DC Water’s emergency number – 202-612-3400. DC Water’s website has more information about its process for dealing water main breaks.