Our reporting on DC Water’s Soapstone Valley sewer project has largely focused on the relining of the greater-than-century-old sewer lines. Another, and important, part of the project is protecting the lines from the next century of erosion and damage.
DC Water calls it stream restoration work. I would call it stream reconstruction, and from what I’ve witnessed, it’s a complex job.
DC Water reported at the May 16th ANC 3F meeting that its contractor is still performing restoration work at what it calls Site 1. That’s the site closest to Connecticut Avenue and Albemarle Street, and it is here that the contractor has done the most stream work. They have slowed the stormwater flowing from the large outflow pipe at the site by cutting it back. This allows more of the water to pool. They are also fortifying the area with large boulders to stabilize the pool and it from erosion.
Noise from Site 1 caught my attention last week, and I spent about half an hour watching the crew at work. Frankly, it was mesmerizing.
As they worked to fill one section in a rock wall, not just any boulder would do, it seemed.
The video begins with the backhoe operator removing some big rocks to make room for another, larger boulder.
(:45) He adds gravel.
(1:03) Trying out a boulder. Does this one work? Nope.
(2:10) More digging to make the space bigger.
(2:30) Will this boulder work? Yes!
After some finishing touches, they move on to the next round. At no point does it look easy, and there is plenty more to do. DC Water expects the stream work at Site 1 to continue through the end of June.
The sewer pipe relining work started at the opposite end of the Soapstone Valley in mid March. In late April, the pipe segments between Broad Branch Broad and Audubon Terrace were complete and the flow of sewage restored.
Before DC Water can reline the next section, the sewer bypass pipe must be dismantled and moved from the completed section, and reassembled. If the latest schedule holds, the pre-lining inspections of the next section will begin on June 5th.
Green Eyeshades says
Marlene’s very revealing video files show the heavy equipment operators are playing a giant game of Tetris except all of the pieces are boulders of random sizes and shapes. No wonder they are going to be at least two months late finishing the Outfall and Site One.
DC Water admitted at the May 16 meeting of ANC3F that DC Water might be late installing the next segment of sewer bypass. DC Water’s slide stated that Shots One and Two have successfully relined the sewer pipe with CIPP. DC Water said and its slide stated that DC Water has reviewed closed-circuit teevee (CCTV) videos of the finished sewer relining (CIPP) at Shot One and Shot Two and has accepted the CIPP work at those locations. but DC Water has not yet accepted the CIPP work at Shot Three, Shot Four and Shot Five. For some reason, the CCTV inspection of other parts of the sewer line cannot take place until the CIPP work for Shots 3-5 has been accepted by DC Water.
Another DC Water slide said DC Water and the “designer” would be reviewing the CCTV of completed CIPP work (implying Shots 3-5) during the week of May 8 (two weeks ago this coming Monday). The sewer bypass pipe would then have been removed from its current location last week (week of May 15), depending on “acceptance of post CCTV footage.” Something is holding up that “acceptance” but DC Water did not tell ANC3F what the holdup is.
During this coming week (week of May 22), DC Water had planned to install and test “sewer bypass #2. After sewer bypass #2 was installed and tested, DC Water had planned to “begin pre-CCTV of next CIPP installation” during the week of May 29.
But all of DC Water’s dates for the last three weeks of this month (including last week) were listed as “subject to change” because of the holdup in “acceptance” of the CIPP sewer relining at Shots 3-5.
This delay in acceptance of Shots 3-5, in my personal opinion, reveals that there was a defect or error in some portion of one or more of Shots three, four and/or five. Otherwise, DC Water would have finished “acceptance” on schedule. Instead, the project is on hold, but DC Water is not explaining why “acceptance” has been delayed at least two weeks.