By now, you’ve likely seen the DC Water advisories on area listservs (and our stories Sunday and Monday on Forest Hills Connection) about the sewer leak in Soapstone Valley. DC Water is still advising people and their pets away from the creek water to avoid risking exposure to raw sewage.
The good news, as far as Soapstone’s trail and trees are concerned, is that the leak is easily accessible. The equipment and work needed to repair the pipe will have minimal impact on the trail and will require no removal of trees.
DC Water installed a bypass around the leak yesterday morning.
The next step will be to line the leaking pipe.
According to William Elledge, manager of design in the Department of Engineering and Technical Services at DC Water, the leak is on a sewer line slated for a substantial rehabilitation due to the age of the pipes running through the Soapstone Valley. The project was first revealed to the community in 2013. DC Water will be holding another community meeting on the project on Tuesday, July 28th, time and place yet to be determined.
Due to this leak, Elledge said DC Water will be asking the National Park Service for an expedited permit process to start the larger project sooner rather than later.
“We have no evidence of any other leaks,” he wrote in an email, “but we don’t want any more to start.”